The federal economic development minister says businesses in B.C. want to work with a new development agency that Ottawa is working to create in the province.
Melanie Joly says she's heard similar comments from entrepreneurs and business owners across B.C. about the need for a home-based agency, including during an online forum today with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.
#BritishColumbia's economy was in a period of rapid growth & diversification before the pandemic but it has been hit hard in this crisis. We need to ensure that we accelerate its recovery and foster inclusive future growth. So glad to join @BoardofTrade today to discuss our plan. pic.twitter.com/fjEjcYKOou— Mélanie Joly (@melaniejoly) January 22, 2021
Joly says the promised B.C.-based economic development agency will provide targeted economic support and relief to businesses.
She says she's heard in panel discussions with business leaders about the distance between the federal government and B.C. as entrepreneurs argue for an agency that is closer to home.
Joly, who is also the minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, says B.C. entrepreneurs have told her the province's economy was growing before the COVID-19 pandemic and they need help now to get them through it.
Joly says last December's federal economic update promised an economic stimulus package of about $100 billion this year.