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

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Don Devenney is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Community Builder of the year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
West Shore volunteer’s efforts an exercise in adventurous pursuits

Don Devenney is the 2021 recipient of the Community Builder Award

Sergeant Francis Dion with the box containing HMCS Calgary’s new secret mascot costume. (HMCSNCSMCalgary/Facebook)
A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

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 Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

The BC SPCA is offering many chances for school-aged kids to learn about animal welfare and other animal topics. Pictured here is Keith, a three-month-old kitten seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
From pets to wildlife, BC SPCA offers animal education programs geared to youth

BC SPCA offering virtual spring break camps, workshops and school presentations

Migrant farm workers transplant jalapeno sprouts from trucks into the tilted soil at a farm. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times)
‘They’re afraid’: Coalition sounds alarm over COVID vaccines for B.C.’s migrant workers

Though health ministry says anyone can get vaccinated, critics say barriers are keeping migrants from their dose

Most Read