B.C. Premier John Horgan takes questions in a nearly empty B.C. legislature press theatre, April 9, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. doing better on COVID-19, Premier John Horgan says

Extends state of emergency, working on transit cash crisis

The B.C. government is preparing to release its second batch of modelling on the COVID-19 pandemic on April 17, and it is encouraging to see results from restrictions on people and businesses to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Premier John Horgan took questions from reporters April 15 after a cabinet meeting where B.C.’s state of emergency was extended for an additional two weeks. The second batch of provincial disease modelling will show progress that has been reflected in daily positive test totals, and B.C. residents deserve “a pat on the back virtually for the work we have done together to flatten the curve,” Horgan said.

But that improvement, to be detailed by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, isn’t about making projections for things like reopening schools to full classroom instruction, he said.

“I look at my colleagues across the country who set arbitrary dates for a return, before the data was in, before the science was confirming that, and we’re not going to follow that lead,” Horgan said. “We’re going to look at the numbers that emerge over the weeks ahead before we make those determinations.”

RELATED: B.C. allows private liquor stores to open 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

RELATED: B.C. adds portable toilets for truckers to highway stops

When B.C. is able to ease its pandemic restrictions, one of the top priorities is to get started on a backlog of thousands of scheduled surgeries that have been postponed to clear acute-care bed space in B.C. hospitals.

Horgan said the reduction in driving and gasoline prices that have fallen below $1 a litre in many areas are helping people do their essential travel, and the province will have a “modest” announcement this week on ICBC’s response to the COVID-19 slowdown that has reduced accidents, ambulance calls and hospital emergency visits.

Asked about TransLink’s plea this week that they need $75 million a month to keep service going with no fares and few passengers, Horgan said he’s in nearly daily discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland on the needs of transit and municipalities.

Finance Minister Carole James and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson are expected to introduce new relief for businesses and local governments on April 16.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Salmon Arm RCMP recover stolen property near Lyman Hill

One person arrested, officers appear to be searching side of Highway 1

Salmon Arm to hold two peaceful protests in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

June 4 and 6 protests to fight for justice for victims of police brutality, against systemic racism

Vehicle stolen in Revelstoke recovered near Salmon Arm after occupants suffer overdoses

Police say they were alerted to the vehicle after occupants treated by ambulance after drug use

Transport truck driver walks away from crash where cab detaches from trailer

Driver won’t be charged regarding incident near Pritchard

Sicamous RCMP catch driver going twice the speed limit

The car was impounded for seven days and the driver received a hefty fine

WATCH: North Okanagan golf cart stolen, then returned

Homeowners have footage of two men taking the cart and then bringing it back

Police watchdog investigating fatal crash in Kelowna

Kelowna RCMP received a report of a single-vehicle collision on Bulman Road near Highway 97 on June 1

Kelowna council greenlights ‘The Wedge’

The wedge-shaped building will be built at the corner of Leon Avenue and Water Street

Province looks to seize Kelowna home owned by alleged drug trafficker

Michelle Collins and Nigel Byrne were also recently investigated by Kelowna RCMP for drug trafficking

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Highway 1 closed after body found near Hope

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, highway has been closed for 10 hours in both directions

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read