Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, is shown during a news conference in Ottawa in 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Isolating provinces is a bad idea, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce

National business organization calls for cohesive approach to COVID-19 measures

  • Jan. 21, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Cutting B.C. off from Canada is not a good idea, according to the president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC).

A Zoom meeting Wednesday afternoon saw CCC president Perrin Beatty in conversation with Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, about U.S.-Canada relations in the wake of COVID-19 and the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden.

“What we need to do is to look to manage the disease, not to shut down our regions or to partition Canada more than it is already,” Beatty said.

Beatty’s comments come after a conference call between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and several other premiers, in which the issue of inter-provincial travel was discussed.

READ ALSO: Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

B.C. Premier John Horgan later told media that a Maritime-style travel ban is unlikely for the province. Horgan voiced his skepticism that such a policy was practical or legal. The premier did, however, say that he would seek legal advice on whether B.C. can limit inter-provincial travel.

In Beatty’s opinion, collaboration and clear direction will help society function more smoothly during the COVID-19 crisis.

“One of the criticisms that I have of how we handled COVID in this country is the crazy quilt of measures we have that often vary from municipality to municipality level and from province to province,” Beatty said. “What we needed was a much more coherant approach.”

READ ALSO: B.C. considers provincial COVID-19 bubble as visitors come in


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