British Columbia’s state of emergency extended again, Horgan says

British Columbia's state of emergency extended again, Horgan says
Mike McArthur/CBC
Premier John Horgan says BC has extended the state of emergency for another two weeks

B.C. Premier John Horgan has announced the province’s state of emergency has been extended another two weeks.

The state of emergency is in effect until May 12.

Horgan also said the province is focusing in a phased-in approach for reopening parts of the economy.He hinted news relating to the reopening of some sectors would come in the next week.

“It’s going to take resolute action from all of us to make progress and not give up progress,” Horgan said, adding the “new normal” for B.C. will be phased in and guided by science.

Horgan also said B.C.’s approach will be different from other jurisdictions because we did not go into a full lockdown.

“We are focusing on a slow, methodical, phased-in approach,” Horgan said.

He said industries like the tech sector and film production are positioned to bounce back quickly once restrictions are lifted.

“Keep in mind that [Finance Minister] Carole James put aside $1.5 billion for stimulus that we have not touched,” said Horgan.

“This will be used for rebound.”

He also said B.C.’s strong financial position has allowed politicians to plot a more cautious and public health-centred return from the pandemic.

According to Horgan, the return to schools will be slow and methodical and he does not expect a full return to classrooms until September.

And people should expect physical distancing to be in place for a long time, Horgan said.

The province has been under a state of emergency since March 18 due to the pandemic. The state of emergency was extended at the end of March then again in the middle of April.

The state of emergency allows for the preservation of supply chains of food and other essential items, as well as allowing the province to enact emergency measures.

Some of the emergency measures that have been put in place including a ban on evictions and a ban on rent hikes. Profiteering and hoarding of food and medical supplies have also been outlawed.

Meanwhile, two more poultry processing facilities in B.C. report workers who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Sofina Foods Inc., says its employee who tested positive lives with relatives who work at a processing plant that was recently closed because of a novel coronavirus outbreak.

Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry says its employee was off the job on Friday with flu-like symptoms and tested positive yesterday.

Eighty COVID-19 cases have been linked to two Metro Vancouver poultry processing facilities that were closed earlier this month.

With files from The Canadian Press and Karin Larsen, CBC

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 


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