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

Qualicum Beach resident Harold MacDougall won $75,000 off a Casino Royale II Scratch & Win ticket, purchased the ticket at Qualicum Foods on Memorial Avenue. (BCLC photo)
Qualicum Beach man $75K richer thanks to scratch-and-win ticket windfall

MacDougall plans on trips to Cape Breton and Scotland

David Darmadi, owner of Kalvas - The Log House restaurant, is offering a sweet initiative for SOS. Guests can bring in a new, unwrapped gift or financial donation for SOS, and receive a free dessert. (Lissa Alexander photo)
Sweet initiative to support Parksville Qualicum Beach residents

‘A lot of our guests are very generous and they want to help out’

The property at 113 and 161 Island Highway is currently being dismantled as the developer attempts to salvage ‘usable’ lumber for their development application to the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers application to staff for further improvements

(File photo)
RCMP warn of counterfeit bill use in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Police have received four calls in November regarding bogus bills

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Most Read