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B.C. extends state of emergency

Wednesday, July 08, 2020 @ 10:29 AM | By Ian Burns

The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency in order to support the province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move, announced July 7, will allow Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act.

“We’re starting to see some restrictions lifting, but there are measures we need to keep in place to continue battling COVID-19,” said Premier John Horgan. “We will continue to take the necessary steps to make sure British Columbians are safe and that the most vulnerable people are protected, while experts work to find a treatment or vaccine.”

According to the government’s press release, the state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on July 21. This will allow government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe while measures that would allow the state of emergency to be lifted seek legislative approval.

“We’ve made a commitment to British Columbians to do all that we can to keep COVID-19 at bay,” Farnworth said. “The extension of the state of emergency will allow us to keep orders in place to ensure public safety until measures are in place to transition out of the state of emergency.”

On June 22, government introduced the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, legislation to allow provisions created for people and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue as needed after the provincial state of emergency ends.

The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials. Farnworth made the original declaration on March 18, after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency the previous day.

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