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State of emergency extended to continue B.C.’s COVID-19 response

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth
Solicitor General Mike Farnworth

The B.C. government has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

“I want to commend everyone in British Columbia for following public health advice to reduce transmission and keep everyone safe from COVID-19,” said Premier John Horgan. “However, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, and we’re not out of the woods yet. As a government, we are working to ensure the supports people need during this unprecedented time continue to be available, which is why we’re extending provincial state of emergency today.”

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, to allow government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe.

“While some restrictions have been eased, we must stay the course to flatten the COVID-19 curve,” Farnworth said. “This means that even as British Columbians start to carefully adjust to life in Phase 3, we are maintaining the necessary critical supports to respond to and alleviate the effects of this pandemic.”

On July 10, the COVID-19 Related Measures Act came into force. The legislation enables provisions created for people and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue as needed after the provincial state of emergency ends.

Actions taken in the previous two weeks to support British Columbians include:

* releasing an economic and fiscal update for 2020-21 to provide a summary of COVID-19 investments to date, as well as a scenario of revenue and deficit projections;

* extending the temporary authorization that permits food-primary and liquor-primary licensees to sell and deliver sealed, packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal for off-site consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic; and.

* laying out the details of a repayment framework to be put in place later this summer, helping renters and landlords to transition and tenants in arrears to maintain their housing when the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent is lifted ahead of Sept. 1, 2020.

The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from B.C.’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.

Quick Facts:

* Declarations of provincial states of emergency may be issued by the minister responsible under the Emergency Program Act.

* The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration made by the minister responsible for further periods of time for up to 14 days at a time.

* During the 2017 wildfire season, the province was in a provincial state of emergency for 10 weeks from July 7 to Sept. 15.

Learn More:

Learn more about B.C.’s economic recovery planning: http://gov.bc.ca/recoveryideas

For information on BC’s Restart Plan, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/RestartBC

For information on non-medical issues, like travel recommendations and how to manage social isolation, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID-19

For information on federal and provincial government supports available to individuals, families, businesses and organizations, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covidgovernmentbenefits

For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, including information for employers, businesses and schools, visit:
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)

For more information and latest medical updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC
Or visit the centre’s website: http://www.bccdc.ca/

For non-medical information relating to COVID-19:
Visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID19
Email: servicebc@gov.bc.ca
Or call: 1 888 COVID-19

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