Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP reflects on past year in press conference

Joshua Azizi

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach held a press conference yesterday to reflect on the past year.

He began by acknowledging the challenges that COVID-19 has placed on the Northwest. He urged everyone to follow public health orders during the holidays and remarked on the resilience of Northwest communities throughout the pandemic.

“It’s taught us some things we already knew about our ability to come together in tough times. We saw that in spades during that really devastating wildfire season: we saw neighbours come together, and with COVID 19 we have that opportunity again to show the strength of rural communities in looking after each other and looking out for each other and taking care of each other.”

Although B.C. began its rollout of COVID-19 vaccines this week, Bachrach said that the Phizer vaccine will be hard to bring to rural areas because it needs to be kept at low temperatures. He hopes Northwest B.C. will get the Moderna vaccine instead.

“My hope is that, as that other vaccine comes to the fore and is made available and orders come in, that we’ll be able to see smaller, more remote communities  which really is the bulk of the population in Northwest B.C.  we’ll see those communities get access to it as quickly as possible.”

Bachrach also discussed some of his local activities, such as pushing for internet access on Haida Gwaii, resolving the border issues at Stewart and asking airlines to give refunds during the pandemic. 

Additionally, he mentioned how he and the NDP caucus pushed the government to adopt stronger pandemic relief programs such as the CERB. He critiqued the Liberals for asking some CERB recipients to return their payments after the program’s eligibility requirements were changed.

“It is incredibly unfair to change the goalposts retroactively and to make these people pay back the money, first of all when they need the support, and secondly when they applied not only in good faith, but also when they were following the rules at the time.”

When asked about the possibility of an election, Bachrach said he thinks an election is the last thing Canadians want right now but he’ll be prepared if the Prime Ministers calls one. 

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