NDP house leader Mike Farnworth (left) and B.C. legislature speaker Darryl Plecas are among the few MLAs present in person as the B.C. legislature reopens, June 22, 2020. (Hansard TV)

B.C. legislature resumes with most MLAs, votes ‘virtual’

John Horgan NDP extending cabinet’s emergency powers

The B.C. legislature has resumed the sitting it abruptly ended in March, with the NDP government moving to give cabinet the authority to extend COVID-19 pandemic measures beyond the provincial state of emergency.

Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby were among a handful of MLAs physically present in the chamber June 22, which has been modified for virtual votes and debate with seats removed and large video screens installed.

Eby introduced three bills, one of which gives the B.C. cabinet authority to extend pandemic-related orders by up to a year. Specific orders already in place can be extended by 45 to 90 days after a provincial state of emergency is ended, which would automatically end them under the existing Emergency Management Act.

“This legislation will support the delicate work of formalizing and unwinding emergency measures relied on by British Columbians during the pandemic in a way that recognizes that the impacts of COVID-19 may still be felt for an extended period after the state of emergency is over,” Eby said.

RELATED: No surge in pandemic pot purchasing, B.C. sales show

RELATED: Canada’s economy recovering, Conference Board says

Eby also introduced amendments that allow wills to be witnessed virtually, making permanent an option that was introduced under the provincial state of emergency for COVID-19. Another bill gives the Insurance Corp. of B.C. authority to issue licence decals valid for longer than one year, or non-expiring.

Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston also introduced changes to the Mines Act that allow appointment of a new “chief permitting officer” to operate separately from the chief inspector of mines.


@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

PHOTOS: Small crowd gathers to watch 231-tonne stacker-reclaimer load onto barge crane

The Dynamic Beast barge crane, known for work with Johnson Street Bridge, makes a return

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Saanich Peninsula Hospital Auxiliary hosts pop-up fundraiser in Sidney

Temporary store to feature unique hand made gifts, collectibles, clothing, books and more

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

SOOKE HISTORY: A peek into the journal of John George Whiffin

Elida Peers | Contributed One of our most popular walks is on… Continue reading

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

Most Read