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)

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

The barge sank again on Jan. 8 and is still resting under water. (Bill McQuarrie photo)
Refloating of sunken barge to resume in early February

This will be the second attempt at recovery after poor weather conditions caused it to re-sink.

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

North Island Gazette file photo of Port Hardy council
Port Hardy council proclaims the last week of March ‘Bear Smart Week’

Council agreed to allocate $3,000 for funding towards ‘Bear Smart Week’ signage.

Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas. (Dennis Dugas photo)
Port Hardy mayor talks two years in office, ready to move forward in 2021

Port Hardy mayor Dennis Dugas tackles a number of different topics in an interview with the Gazette.

Dex needs surgery after breaking his paw in the panic caused by an apartment fire. (Submitted)
Dog needs surgery after apartment fire injury

A fundraiser has been started to contribute towards veterinarian costs

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read