BC's longest provincial state of emergency will continue for another two weeks

Feb 16 2021, 4:53 pm

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 extended through the end of the day on March 2, 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.

“The fight against COVID-19 has been a long and difficult one, and I am proud of what British Columbians have accomplished to flatten the curve and protect our health-care system,” said BC Premier John Horgan. “The beginning of our mass vaccination program is just weeks away, and healthcare workers have already vaccinated virtually everyone in our long-term care system.”

At the same time, he said, “we need to keep following public health orders, knowing they will keep us safe as we work to end the pandemic in BC.”

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.

“The vast majority of British Columbians are getting the message that we need to work together and follow public health orders so we can all get through COVID-19 safely,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “For the few who aren’t getting the message, police departments across BC have been doing an excellent job enforcing restrictions and ticketing offenders.”

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