British Columbia’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth shared additional details on the upcoming order restricting non-essential travel.
The sweeping new order was announced on Monday afternoon by Premier John Horgan. It includes cancelling ferries, travel bookings, camping reservations, and new border signage to discourage travel between provinces.
One of the most significant points of the travel ban is what Horgan described as random road “audits” on BC roads and highways — something he compared to roadside counter-attack programs that target impaired drivers.
Farnworth has since addressed the order saying that he wants to make sure that racialized communities aren’t unjustly impacted and that they’ll “be taking steps to make sure [they] get this right.”
“Our intention is to discourage recreational and leisure travel,” he says in a written statement.
“Not punish people.”
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Farnworth adds that the government is “not interested in disrupting commuters and people going about their lives.”
Officials are looking at using periodic roadblocks, similar to the counterattack campaigns used during holidays to prevent drinking and driving.
They’ll reportedly be set up at areas like BC Ferries or on Highway 1 when leaving the Lower Mainland as a means of discouraging recreational travel.
The government stresses that there will be no random, individual stops.
“We’ll also be focused on making sure these new orders do not unfairly impact racialized communities, and we’ll be taking steps to make sure we get this right,” Farnworth adds.
At this point, the Ministry says that the details of this order are still being finalized, with more information expected later in the week.