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

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

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
Saanich teen ‘locked inside,’ regaining speech after severe brain hemorrhage

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

North Saanich is giving local businesses a break by waving renewal fees for 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
North Saanich waives business renewal fees for 2021

The municipality raised $48,000 from businesses licences in 2020

The Sooke school district has filled all spots for their French immersion and nature kinderagarten programs in 2021-2022 school year. Regular kindergarten registration is still open and available. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke school district gets surplus of nature, French immersion kindergarten applications

Not enough room for almost half of nature kindergarten applicants

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read