The BC government announced on Tuesday it has formally extended the provincial state of emergency that has been in effect since mid-March.
The state of emergency is now extended through the end of the day on January 25, 2021.
A provincial declaration of a state of emergency allows the province to implement provincial emergency measures and allows access to assets that may be necessary to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency. This is a temporary measure authorized by the Emergency Program Act.
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The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from BC’s health and emergency management officials. The original declaration was made on March 18, 2020, the day after Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry declared a public health emergency.
“I want to thank everyone in British Columbia for doing their part to keep themselves and their loved ones safe during this extraordinarily trying year,” said BC Premier John Horgan.
“With more British Columbians receiving vaccines, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But immunization won’t happen overnight. Through the holiday season and into the new year, we need to continue following public health orders and take the daily actions we know will protect those around us.”
On December 16, 2020, the Province announced enhanced enforcement measures to keep British Columbians safe and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.
This includes asking provincial enforcement officers to actively support police and increase COVID-19 enforcement by issuing violation tickets as appropriate during their normal course of duties or when in public places.
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has also strengthened fine collection measures.
“Police have done excellent work this year enforcing the public health orders designed to protect public safety,” Farnworth said. ” While it is important to celebrate the season, that will look different this year. I want to be crystal clear that if people break the rules, they will be held accountable.”