The province says it is postponing upcoming byelections in four communities over the threat of COVID-19, including Victoria.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing made the announcement Wednesday night, which also postpones byelections in Rossland and Lytton, and a referendum in Kamloops.
The Victoria byelection was scheduled for April 4 to fill the council seat vacated by Laurel Collins, who was elected Victoria’s MP in last October’s federal election.
The province says the action was requested by both public health officials and local government members to ensure residents are not required to gather in polling stations.
Earlier this week, Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Richard Stanwick recommended Victoria’s byelection be postponed until the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over.
“I know that local governments are working hard to keep their communities safe and protected during this pandemic,” Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson said in a statement.
“Our government is working closely with our partners to help marshal all resources to protect those most vulnerable and ‘flattening the curve’ of the spread of COVID-19.”
Robinson added, “After consulting with our public health officials and local governments, I have signed a ministerial order postponing byelections and referendums in these communities so they can focus on protecting their residents.”
The province says rescheduling byelections will be made by local governments in conjunction with public health officials and Elections BC.