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

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

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

Island Health has reported a COVID-19 outbreak at Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Four new COVID-19 cases added to Saanich Peninsula Hospital outbreak

Inital round of patient testing is complete, staff testing continues

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Andrew McBride is among those who deck out for Sea of Lights floating ship parade annually. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic sinks Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Sea of Lights

Oak Bay club encourages donations to the charities event supports

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read