An economic recovery plan in progress since April offers various recommendations for the region to overcome the impacts of COVID-19. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

An economic recovery plan in progress since April offers various recommendations for the region to overcome the impacts of COVID-19. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Greater Victoria economic ‘reboot’ plan tackles impacts of COVID-19

Newly-formed task force looks at various sectors, industries

As Greater Victoria grappled with unemployment rates higher than those of the 2008 financial crisis, creators of an economic recovery plan started planning for recovery.

The Rising Economy Task Force – a multi-organization committee representing several sectors across the region – released the ‘Reboot’ plan Monday morning. The task force, launched one month after the COVID-19 pandemic was first declared by B.C.’s provincial health officer, drew 120 participants.

Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO of the South Island Prosperity Partnership, called the plan a “blueprint for the future.”

READ ALSO: Nanaimo’s recovery task force recommends pride of place, strategic investment

READ ALSO: Unemployment in Greater Victoria continues to drop

“It drew unparalleled collaboration in Canada’s largest non-government cross-sector economic recovery effort,” she said.

The outcome of extensive outreach and consultation led to 10 pillars, each with several recommendations on everything from piloting an Indigenous ‘Upskill’ micro-credential program and developing an agrotourism campaign to infrastructure programs for local arts and culture venues and implementing programs to improve critical skilled labour shortages.

The vast series of recommendations come with timelines ranging from zero to 24-plus months.

“There are still a lot of unknowns, but one thing is certain,” de Rosenroll said. “We need to embrace the idea that we are in this together and go all-in. A partial recovery is not a recovery. Recovery for some sectors and not others is not a recovery.”

Unemployment rates in Victoria continues to show signs of improvement, dropping to 7.6 per cent in October – a decrease from 11 per cent in June.

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