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B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike FarnwortH

B.C. extends state of emergency once again

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 @ 9:53 AM | By Ian Burns


British Columbia announced that it has formally extended the provincial state of emergency as the province continues to deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Nov. 24 to allow health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act. The province has seen a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases as the so-called “second wave” of the virus takes hold.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’re all in it together,” said Premier John Horgan. “It’s time to focus on the actions that helped keep us safe this spring: diligent handwashing, physical distancing, wearing a mask and staying home when you’re sick. We all have a role to play in supporting our health-care workers, the health-care system and essential workers, and we must do all we can to keep our loved ones safe, schools open and the economy moving.”

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth

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

Recent increases in the number of cases of COVID-19 in all regions of B.C, but particularly concentrated in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley, have led to the PHO issuing further restrictions on social gatherings, indoor group exercise and travel for a two-week period in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions.

“Now more than ever, we are asking all British Columbians to pull together and redouble our efforts to flatten the curve,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth. “The vast majority of British Columbians are doing the right things and following the advice of public health officials. Our government will continue to ensure that police and other enforcement officials have the tools necessary to address the selfish actions of a small minority of people who take needless risks with our collective health.”

The province continues to use, with the support of police and other enforcement officials, measures under the Emergency Program Act to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes issuing tickets for owners or organizers contravening the PHO’s orders. Between Aug. 21 and Nov. 9, 47 violation tickets were issued.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact Ian Burns at Ian.Burns@lexisnexis.ca or call 905-415-5906.