The BC government announced on Tuesday it has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
“In recent weeks, British Columbians have been reminded that COVID-19 case counts can easily rise if we’re not careful,” said BC Premier John Horgan. “As we continue our slow and safe approach to Phase 3, extending the provincial state of emergency will continue to provide government with the resources we need to respond to any new challenges. This is not the time to let our guard down.”
The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on August 18.
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“We still need to be able to access the necessary tools to support communities as they combat COVID-19 and its impacts,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We will continue to extend this provincial state of emergency as long as necessary so we can ensure we are able to respond quickly and effectively to this pandemic.”
The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on July 21, 2020. This will allow government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe while measures that would allow the state of emergency to be lifted seek legislative approval.
“We’ve made a commitment to British Columbians to do all that we can to keep COVID-19 at bay,” Farnworth said. “The extension of the state of emergency will allow us to keep orders in place to ensure public safety until measures are in place to transition out of the state of emergency.”
The province said the extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from BC’s health and emergency management officials. Farnworth made the original declaration on March 18, 2020, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency.