B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters from B.C. legislature, Nov. 9, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters from B.C. legislature, Nov. 9, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. premier calls for national COVID-19 travel restrictions

John Horgan says non-essential travel banned in province

B.C. is likely to extend its non-essential travel restriction that expires this week, and Premier John Horgan says he wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to speak to the need to do the same for interprovincial travel in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Horgan told reporters in Victoria Nov. 18 he isn’t calling for the federal government to impose on provincial emergency plans, but for Ottawa to add its voice to B.C.’s recommendation to keep travel to essential only as Canada struggles with rising coronavirus infections.

“The people of Quebec and Ontario and Manitoba need to know that they should stay in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba until we get to a place where we can start distributing a vaccine across the country,” Horgan said. “This is not the time to go storm watching on the west coast of Vancouver Island. This is not the time to plan a large gathering over the holidays.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry raised the issue of interprovincial travel this week as she expanded her travel restriction advice from Metro Vancouver to the entire province. Horgan emphasized Henry’s point that social gatherings in private homes have been traced to much of the steep increase in infections in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, with spill-over effects to other regions as people move around.

The regional orders are due to expire Nov. 19 and Horgan indicated they are likely to be extended so they can “take hold,” as daily cases and hospitalizations in the Lower Mainland have continued to rise. A new daily record of 717 cases was reported Tuesday, with 11 deaths related to COVID-19.

Horgan said he will leave it to Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix to speak to B.C.’s orders and advisories at their scheduled update on Thursday, but he does not personally favour additional orders restricting travel between regions or imposing quarantine rules within B.C.

“My view is that a quarantine on Vancouver Island may not be the best way to go,” Horgan said, responding to a suggestion by Island Health’s Dr. Richard Stanwick.

RELATED: Half of Vancouver Island’s recent cases linked to travel

RELATED: Tourism industry pushes back on latest travel restriction

The problem with restrictive travel orders for regions or provinces is that essential travel has to continue to keep vital services going, Horgan said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Island Aurora arrived in Port McNeill on Sunday, June 14. (Gaby Wickstrom Facebook photo)
BC Ferries to trial two-ship service on Campbell River – Quadra Island route

BC Ferries’ newest vessel, Island Aurora, will sail on the Campbell River… Continue reading

Group physical activities have been suspended at Campbell River facilities. File photo by Marc Kitteringham - Campbell River Mirror.
Group physical activities suspended at Campbell River sports facilities

Classes and programs suspended at Strathcona Gardens, Sportsplex and Community Centre

The North Island 9-1-1 Corporation (NI911) has supported local residents for 25 years. Black Press file photo
North Island 911 looks to change how they get funding

Three options to be decided upon in early 2021

B.C. will be testing its Alert Ready system on Nov. 25. Black Press Media file
Why some people don’t get emergency alert notifications

Province testing Alert Ready system on Wednesday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

The Trenton Golden Hawks are changing their name and uniform for one game on Nov. 27 as they become the Trenton Snowbirds for one game to honour Capt. Jennifer Casey. Twitter photo
Hockey team honouring fallen Snowbird with Island connection

The Trenton Golden Hawks will become the Trenton Snowbirds for one game

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Most Read