The BC government announced on Tuesday it has formally extended the provincial state of emergency that has been in effect since March 2020.
The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on March 16, 2021.
A provincial declaration of a state of emergency allows the province to implement provincial emergency measures and access 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.
“Vaccines have already saved the lives of some of our most vulnerable, and yesterday we announced the next phase,” said Premier John Horgan in a release.
“Every single day we’re making progress, thanks to the hard work of public health experts, frontline healthcare workers, essential workers and British Columbians who are committed to doing their part to keep us all safe. We’re going to get through this together.”
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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.
On July 10, the COVID-19 Related Measures Act came into force, 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.
“We need to keep following public health orders so we can all get through this next period safely until more vaccines are ready,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a statement.
“In the meantime, orders will continue to be enforced for those who refuse to do their part and risk undoing the progress we’ve made so far.”