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

Gabriel Swift, 23, is one of three Victoria filmmakers chosen to receive $20,000 Telus Storyhive grants to produce Local Heroes documentaries. (Courtesy of Gabriel Swift)
Three Victoria filmmakers producing ‘local heroes’ documentaries with $20,000 grants

Telus Storyhive providing $20,000 to 40 Western Canada productions

Goldstream Food Bank president Gayle Ireland is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Community Volunteer of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Two-week stint at Goldstream Food Bank turns into 35 years of volunteer service

Goldstream Food Bank’s Gayle Ireland is the 2021 Community Volunteer of the Year

Council has recommended that the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) approve a cannabis retail application by Buds Cannabis. It plans to open the store in the 9700-block of Second Street. It would be the business’ second outlet (it has an outlet in Central Saanich) and the second such business in Sidney. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney recommends approval of licence for second pot shop

Councillors also push back against public concerns about Sidney’s image

From right: Brad Cameron, BCEHS superintendent of patient care delivery for Greater Victoria, with primary care paramedics Em Funk, Tyrone Trotter, Fiona Galvin and Peter Hill at the Leigh Road station. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore paramedics didn’t waver when faced with COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Emergency Health Services personnel are this year’s Courage and Bravery Award recipients

February is Black History Month. (Photo: Government of Canada)
Camosun College highlighting Black content with research guide during Black History Month

The collection includes a range of works by Black authors and creators

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read