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B.C. extends state of emergency to Sept. 1

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 @ 1:07 PM | By Ian Burns

The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the province's COVID-19 pandemic response.

“British Columbians have sacrificed a lot to keep transmission rates down, and now unsafe parties and gatherings are eroding that hard work,” said Premier John Horgan. “We’re committed to getting our province back on track and will be announcing enforcement action against those who continue to put others at risk.”

According to the government’s press release, the state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Sept. 1 to allow government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns, such as recent outbreaks in some areas of the province.

“We put these orders in place for a reason, and they are not optional,” Farnworth said. “Public health orders must be followed to ensure public safety, and I will be bringing in new measures later this week to address the actions of those who demonstrate their indifference to the health and safety of others.”

On July 10, the COVID-19 Related Measures Act came into force. The legislation enables provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue as needed, should the provincial state of emergency end.

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, the day after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency.