The B.C. government formally extended the provincial state of emergency until the end of the day on Nov. 24.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’re all in it together,” said Premier John Horgan. “It’s time to focus on the actions that helped keep us safe this spring: diligent hand washing, physical distancing, wearing a mask and staying home when you’re sick.”
The state of emergency extension allows health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act, a provincial government statement said.
“We all have a role to play in supporting our health-care workers, the health-care system and essential workers, and we must do all we can to keep our loved ones safe, schools open and the economy moving,” Horgan said.
The extension is based on recommendations from B.C.‘s health and emergency management officials, according to the statement. The original declaration was made on March 18 this year — the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency.
The province continues to urge all British Columbians to follow the orders and guidance of public health officials to combat rising cases and help avoid further restrictions.
“Now more than ever, we are asking all British Columbians to pull together and redouble our efforts to flatten the curve,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and Solicitor General.
The province continues to use, with the support of police and other enforcement officials, measures under the Emergency Program Act to limit the spread of COVID-19. This includes issuing tickets for owners or organizers contravening the public health orders.
Between Aug. 21 and Nov. 9, 47 violation tickets were issued, according to province. These included 19 tickets to organizers holding events, two food and liquor related offences and 26 tickets to individuals — a total of $54,280 worth of tickets were issued.
Police agencies in B.C. have also issued 58 violation tickets to people who broke the Federal Quarantine Act, totalling $64,000.
“The vast majority of British Columbians are doing the right things and following the advice of public health officials. Our government will continue to ensure that police and other enforcement officials have the tools necessary to address the selfish actions of a small minority of people who take needless risks with our collective health,” Farnworth said.