Province’s response to COVID-19 pandemic was strong, showing resiliency, balance and nimbleness

THE Province on Friday released results of the independent review and public consultation of government’s operational response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Government is committed to protecting British Columbians and keeping people, businesses, and communities safe during emergencies, whether it be a local wildfire or global pandemic,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “The independent review was conducted to help government continue to strengthen and improve its emergency management protocols for future emergencies.”

The review looked at preparations for the pandemic, the processes used to make decisions, government communication related to pandemic response and the implementation of response measures. The 144-page report presents 26 findings and demonstrates how the Province’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was strong, showing resiliency, balance and nimbleness.

“COVID-19 was an unprecedented global event and the Province moved quickly to keep people safe and stop the spread of the virus,” Farnworth said. “We welcome this feedback on how we can improve our operational response to provincewide emergencies. By incorporating lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic into emergency planning and response, the Province will be better positioned and be even more prepared for future emergencies.”

Many of the findings of the review reflect work that is underway to prepare B.C. for future provincewide emergencies. For example:

* The review’s findings will aid the Province as it continues the work to modernize its emergency management legislation, which will be introduced in spring 2023.

* The Ministry of Health and Emergency Management BC have begun work to identify how the Provincial Pandemic Coordination Plan could be updated.

* EMBC is participating in Exercise Coastal Response in February 2023, wherein logistics-related emergency response activities can be tested as a part of broader supply chain management.

The independent project team engaged with government agencies, First Nations and Indigenous organizations, local governments, stakeholders and partners, and included an online survey for public participation. The project team spoke with more than 200 people representing about 145 organizations over 70 sessions, and received more than 15,000 responses to the public survey.


Quick Facts:

* The independent project team that conducted the review included three former senior leaders from the BC Public Service: Bob de Faye, Dan Perrin and Chris Trumpy.

* The online public engagement survey ran from March 16 until April 30, 2022.

* The Provincial Pandemic Co-ordination Plan was last updated in March 2020.


Learn More:

COVID-19 Lessons Learned Review – Final Report: