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B.C. extends COVID-19 state of emergency once again

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 @ 9:36 AM | By Ian Burns

B.C. has extended its COVID-19 state of emergency as the province faces a surge of cases as part of the pandemic’s third wave.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement April 13, which extended the state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act (EPA), until end of day April 27.

“This is a difficult time for everyone,” Horgan said in a statement. “With the vaccine program well underway we can see hope on the horizon, but higher case numbers and variants mean that we need to draw back in some places instead of opening up. I want to thank British Columbians for their hard work so far, and I’m going to ask you to keep putting your shoulders to the wheel for a while longer so we can all get through this safely and recover with the strength this province is known for.”

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, 2020, the day after provincial health officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency.

 Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said if people want to get back to doing things like travelling they need to follow Henry’s orders and guidance.

“For those who just can’t seem to get that message, enforcement measures will continue to ensure public safety,” he said. “Police and other enforcement agencies are working hard to make sure the efforts of the majority of British Columbians aren’t dampened by the selfishness of a few.”

The province continues, with the support of police and other enforcement officials, to use measures under the EPA to limit the spread of COVID-19, including issuing tickets for owners, operators and event organizers who host an event or gathering contravening the PHO’s orders.

The COVID-19 Related Measures Act came into force in July 2020, enabling provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue as needed should the provincial state of emergency end.

More information about B.C.’s COVID-19 response can be found here.

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