B.C. Premier John Horgan gives an update on provincial support programs for people facing consequences of COVID-19 pandemic, B.C. legislature, March 17, 2020. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C. Premier John Horgan has extended B.C.’s state of emergency for a second two weeks, warning that everyone’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus are needed more than ever in the days ahead.

“As I watch what is happening around the world right now, it is unsettling and downright scary,” Horgan said in a brief televised address to the province March 31.

He noted that rent and mortgage payments are due April 1 for many people and businesses, but offered no update on how to apply for up to $1,000 per month for lost wages due to pandemic restrictions, and the additional $500 per month towards rent that the province has also committed to provide.

Finance Minister Carole James has said the B.C. wage supplement won’t be available until May, and depends on people qualifying for the federal government’s newly expanded Employment Insurance program.

B.C.’s state of emergency law requires it to be renewed every two weeks, as was done in the 2017 and 2018 forest fire seasons. They give the province authority to direct supply chains and enforce medical emergency orders with fines and jail time.

RELATED: B.C. promises up to $500 a month in rent support

RELATED: Renters, landlords lack details of B.C. rent program

Horgan reminded B.C. residents that it has been nine weeks since the first COVID-19 was confirmed in B.C., and since then 24 people have died from it as cases add up each day. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported five additional deaths March 31, and the total number of positive tests has passed 1,000, with many having recovered.

Health Minister Adrian Dix warned that the COVID-19 situation, with bans on gatherings outside family groups and many businesses closed or restricted, is with B.C. for some time to come.

“Zero chance for the end of April, little to none in May, or in the immediate weeks after that,” Dix said March 31 about the possibility of provincial health orders lifting.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar residents can now report minor crimes to RCMP online

New reporting tool available for Castlegar, Robson, Ootischenia, Thrums, Deer Park, Glade, Tarrys

Castlegar students set to return to in-person classes next week

Students from different grades will be attending school on different days to mitigate threat of COVID-19

Trial date set in Castlegar RCMP shooting death

Constable Jason Tait has elected a jury trial.

Drive-in theatre proposed for Grand Forks

City councillors will vote next month on whether to permit the use of the private property

RDCK recycling depots to join RecycleBC program

Some depots open, others close, and different materials will be accepted

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

JK Rowling publishes first chapters of new story online

Book will be a fairy tale for kids and benefit those particularly affected by the pandemic

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

Most Read