Premier Horgan thanks faith leaders, encourages virtual gatherings

PREMIER John Horgan on Wednesday connected with faith leaders from around the province to encourage British Columbians to limit in-person celebrations during upcoming religious and cultural celebrations and over the upcoming holiday season.

Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry have regularly engaged with faith leaders during the pandemic and thanked them for their renewed commitment to stopping the spread of the virus. As the second wave of the global pandemic has led to rising COVID-19 case numbers, recent outbreaks from family gatherings are a reminder to remain vigilant, said a press release from the Premier’s Office.

“The last few months have challenged our province in ways we never would have expected,” Horgan said. “Whether it’s Gurpurab, Chanukah, Christmas or New Year’s Day, celebrating will have to look different this year. But during this difficult time, people in diverse communities all over B.C. have found new ways to stay connected while staying apart.”

Recent Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas celebrations served as an example to all British Columbians, as families took in virtual gatherings and online events instead of large in-person gatherings and festivals.

“The actions that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains in B.C. took to avoid in-person gatherings for Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas helped save lives and protect the most vulnerable,” Horgan said. “There will be a time when we can all come together again like we did before. Until then, thank you to everyone for doing their part. Together, we’re showing that we’re stronger when we come together in common purpose.”