MLA Coralee Oakes responds to business grant announcement

“Sending a token $1,500 but not setting foot in the community is another blow from this government”

After the provincial government announced $1,500 in grants for small businesses affected by wildfires, Cariboo North MLA and Small Business Critic Coralee Oakes released the following statement:

“Small businesses are feeling the impact of this year’s wildfires; evacuations, loss of land and crops, insurance issues, and road closures. Significant pressure has been put on the provincial government by the Northern MLAs to support our small business sector during this time of crisis.

“Already, almost 1,300 small businesses, First Nations and non-profit organizations have applied for the $1,500 grants available to help these organizations resume operations – a total application value of more than $1.9m.

“The sheer number of calls makes it apparent that this is simply not enough. $1,500 is a drop in the bucket on the losses faced by businesses and sending a token $1500 but not setting foot in the ravaged community is just another blow from this not-for-business government.

“It is sad to think that our Premier and the Ministers responsible to business, forestry, agriculture and First Nations thought that this was anything to be proud of. Where are the people on the ground? Where is the support for businesses that are losing their livelihood? People who are our friends and neighbours, need someone to step up and start helping because this is only the beginning of the issues for this area and for the province.”