Mayor joins COVID-19 recovery task force

Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman has joined a new, independent task force developing policy recommendations to support Canada's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ackerman is one of 20 advisors to the Taskforce For Real Jobs, Real Recovery, started by Resource Works. The task force also includes 25 industry associations, unions, professional organizations and Indigenous organizations representing the energy, manufacturing, transportation, forestry and construction sectors.

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"Canada must not only maintain our competitive advantages, but also actively leverage them in the recovery effort," said Stewart Muir, executive director for Resource Works.

"Chief among these is our capacity to produce low-emissions natural resource commodities under robust environmental, social and governance conditions. These are key components of a broader resource ecosystem that is the engine of Canada’s future.”

Canada's economy shrank 11.6% in April, and followed by 7.5% drop in GDP during March. The country's deficit is expected to hit $343 billion this year.

Northeast B.C. has lost 5,400 jobs since the pandemic and lockdown restrictions began in March, and Resource Works says its task force represents more than a quarter of a million businesses and three million workers.

The task force is developing a series of policy recommendations, to be completed by the end of July, and which will be presented to the federal government as well as the Industry Strategy Council, an economic initiative launched in response to the pandemic.

“We know that if our policy makers listen to the citizens in communities who know how best to support their local energy and other natural resource industries, then we can give the Canadian economy the power it needs to move us all back onto the road to prosperity," Ackerman said.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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