Premier John Horgan (Black Press Media file photo)

Premier John Horgan (Black Press Media file photo)

PREMIER’S MESSAGE: A year that reminded us we need to take care of each other

Premier John Horgan says hope on the horizon, but we’re not out of the wood yet

By John Horgan

A year ago, no one could have imagined what 2020 would have in store for us. The global pandemic has turned our lives upside down.

No one expected to say goodbye to a family member or friend tragically taken by COVID-19. None of us thought we would be enduring the challenges of isolation or job loss due to a virus.

And as premier, I never thought our government would be making the incredibly difficult choice, under the advice of public health officials, of telling kids they should not see their friends or their grandparents during the holiday season.

2020 has been such a hard year for millions of British Columbians. But it has also shown us what we can overcome when we take care of each other.

I think of the frontline health-care heroes, risking their own health to take care of others.

For months we banged our pots and pans on our doorsteps and balconies in their honour, and to thank the farmers, truck drivers and grocery workers keeping food on our shelves.

We raise our hands to business owners, who made the agonizing decision to temporarily close their doors, doing their part to stop the spread of the virus.

And from the bottom of our hearts, we thank the childcare workers and teachers who make it possible for our kids to keep learning and socializing – essential for their mental health and well-being.

All of us were called on to do our part, even if only by staying apart, to help the people around us.

As the year comes to a close, there are reasons to be optimistic about the one ahead. The first vaccines have arrived, and in the months ahead, more and more British Columbians will receive them.

We can see hope on the horizon. But we’re not out of the woods yet – not by a long shot. That’s why holiday celebrations will be smaller this year. Again, it’s going to be tough. But we’re going to do it so that we can celebrate together again in the months and years ahead.

I’m an optimistic person by nature and I know that our best days are ahead of us.

When the pandemic hit, our government said we would have your back. We delivered the help people needed quickly, listened to public health experts, and took the strong action needed to keep people healthy, safe and secure.

While COVID-19 is still presenting us with new challenges each day, we will keep the focus where it belongs. By trusting the science and listening to experts, supporting businesses and frontline workers, and investing to improve care for people across B.C., we will get through this together.

Just like the last three-and-a-half years, we’re going to do our level best each and every day to keep our province moving forward and build a better future for everyone.

John Horgan is the premier of British Columbia and MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca.