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

‘Racism, it destroys your soul’: Surrey man looks to youth for change

Roy Campbell explains his ‘unique perspective and experience’ as a biracial man who has faced racism

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JUNE 6: ‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre; B.C. starts to see employment return

Surrey student earns TD Community Leadership scholarship

Harjot Bal recognized for his One Blood For Life Foundation

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Run for Water: Abbotsford man raises $100,000 running 100-mile marathon

Kevin Barata ran up and down Ledgeview Trails 32 times, exceeding elevation of Mt. Everest

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read

l -->