Thursday, May 14, 2020
British Columbia's State of Emergency to continue towards end of May at least
While things may be loosening up as far as restrictions and the BC Restart Plan is set to launch, the province will remain under it's State of Emergency for just a bit longer, with the British Columbia extending its measures until the 26th of May.
"Because of our determination and sacrifices over the past months, we’re now in a position to carefully move toward the next chapter in our response to COVID-19, but we must not lose sight of the challenges that are ahead. At each and every step forward, your government will continue in its commitment to keep our communities safe and support people through this difficult time.”
The move comes as the province prepares to reduce some of the restrictions of the last six weeks, that as part of the BC Restart Plan introduced last week. With what is known as Phase Two carrying the province into the summer months.
On Thursday, Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General outlined the background to he decision for the extension.
"As we look forward to increasing our social and economic activity in B.C., we must remember that the fight against COVID-19 is far from over. Our province continues to be in a state of emergency, and we will continue in our co-ordinated response to keep people safe, support our health-care system and ensure our supply chains are secure.”
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, 2020, after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency the previous day.
More on the Provincial statement from Wednesday can be reviewed here.
As has often been noted, the Provincial moves from March served to suspend a number of Local States of Emergency, including one in Prince Rupert.
March 26 -- Province of British Columbia suspends all Local States of Emergency; introduces range of new measures under Provincial State of Emergency
March 26 -- Prince Rupert Mayor takes issue with Provincial order to suspend Local State of Emergency
With the May Long, Victoria Day weekend approaching, the Provincial Government has also reminded residents that non-essential travel is still something to avoid and that British Columbians should stay closer to home for the weekend.
Among some of the advice from the Province:
Don not visit vacation properties in other communities
Do not go pleasure boating at this time
Only visit those local provincial parks or recreation sties in your area
Plan ahead and stick to only well-marked trails
In the Prince Rupert area, the only Provincial Park to open for public use will be the Diana Lake Provincial Park.
On Tuesday, MLA Jennifer Rice announced that the Park on the outskirts of the city be open for Day use as of Friday.
In Terrace, the Lakelse Lake area will also be opened for day use at this time.
The full range of guidelines for the weekend and period ahead can be reviewed here.
More items of note from the Legislature can be explored here.