I want to start by thanking you for your leadership in this unprecedented situation. I know you are all working in extremely difficult and quickly-changing circumstances. The impacts of COVID-19 to the sport sector will be significant and are already being felt.
During these trying times, I want to reassure you that the entire provincial government is working around the clock to protect people’s health and to mitigate impacts to people’s livelihoods. The priority continues to be on delaying, containing and preparing the province to minimize serious illness and economic disruption.
I’ve been in regular contact with sport sector leaders and my federal counterparts to ensure they are aware of what is happening here in B.C. The federal government has assured us that there will be support for British Columbians who have been impacted by COVID-19. We are also working on ways to support businesses and organizations affected the most by the restrictions on travel and gatherings. I am speaking with my Cabinet colleagues daily so they are well informed of impacts to people and businesses in the sport sector.
I know that sports organizations are working hard to adapt to new information and direction as quickly as they can. My goal is to support the sector so that once COVID-19 has passed we will be ready to host tournaments, watch our favourite teams play, and get kids back into the game. We are having these discussions now within the ministry and across the sector. The latest information specific to the sport sector is available through viaSport: https://www.viasport.ca/news/covid-19-health-guidelines-sport-organizations
The government’s priority continues to be on delaying, containing and preparing the province to minimize serious illness and economic disruption. We must all do our part to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and I ask that you all follow the advice of the provincial health officer.
Finally, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that this is a stressful time for everyone. I encourage you all to take care of yourselves, your families and your friends during the difficult days ahead.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, responsible for Sport