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

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

John Redekop, with wife Doris, was the 2019 recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from UFV. (Photo courtesy of UFV)
Nominations open until Oct. 30 for UFV’s Betty Urquhart Awards

Award recognizes ‘significant impact’ of volunteer work by an individual or group

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read