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 on Tuesday. “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, August 4 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 September 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.