Premier John Horgan takes questions by phone from the B.C. legislature press theatre, April 9, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic plan next week, John Horgan says

State of emergency extended for another two weeks

The B.C. government will release its roadmap for economic recovery next week, Premier John Horgan says.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting April 29, Horgan said the government is proceeding with a “slow, methodical” process to reopen the economy and education system. Full operation of public schools isn’t going to happen until next fall, but additional students are being added to classroom instruction this spring, he said.

Horgan described B.C. as “the envy of the country” in his series of conference calls with premiers and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He noted that Quebec is about to restart its construction industry in mid-May, while B.C. never shut construction sites down.

“Unlike other provinces we resisted the call for a full lockdown of our economy,” Horgan said. He cited restaurants as another example of a phased approach, where they were not ordered closed, just given restrictions to work with.

“It’s not just going to be a flick of a switch,” Horgan said. “The consuming public has to be comfortable and confident that they can go into that restaurant safely.”

Another example of the B.C. approach is tree planting, which is getting underway with restrictions on camps and transportation for B.C.’s largest-ever planting season. B.C. employs about 5,000 seasonal planters, many from out of province, and this year’s target is more than 300 million seedlings, focused on areas impacted by the record 2017 and 2018 forest fire seasons.

B.C.’s state of emergency has been extended for another two-week period as required by provincial law. It gives the province additional powers to protect supply systems and transportation, and was used through the 2017 and 2018 B.C. wildfire seasons.

RELATED: B.C. expanding classroom teaching, video classes

RELATED: B.C. tree planting ramps up with COVID-19 rules

The COVID-19 state of emergency was declared March 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the same day bars and night clubs were ordered to shut down. Public health orders, which regulate business and personal contact in the pandemic, are at the discretion of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.


@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

LETTER: Board defends tough decisions ahead for arts centre

Lack of income puts The ACT imperil – changes are mandatory to survive, says president

LETTER: MAID is a reassuring option for Maple Ridge man

Letter writer takes exception with a local woman’s views about revoked funding for Delta Hospice

Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafe B.C. over police widow’s pension

Dalila Vroom says husband, Const. Robert Vroom, died as result of PTSD from time with Abbotsford PD

Heavy police presence at Maple Ridge traffic accident

Multiple police seen running into house

UPDATE: Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak over at Maple Ridge seniors residence

All remaining residents and staff have been cleared of the virus at Chartwell’s Willow Retirement Residence

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read