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

Tsolum River Restoration Society members keeping busy during COVID-19 times

Young fish can get stranded in the most unlikely of places

Police looking for witnesses to Courtenay bear spray assault

The incident took place Tuesday, May 26 at around 8:30 p.m.

2020 Hornby Island trade tokens of sentimental value only

The Hornby Island Token Project is in its third and final year,… Continue reading

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Courtenay returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

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

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Most Read