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

Just Posted

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Nurse Doreen Littlejohn takes a longterm approach in her outreach work with homelessness in Parksville Qualicum Beach, but says more needs to be done now. (Auren Ruvinsky photo)
‘Women face a much different experience on the street’

Vancouver Island nurse says community needs to be part of solution to homelessness

The Sepura is a garbage disposal system that separates solids from liquids and allows for stink and hassle-free composting. (Courtesy of Anvy Technologies)
Goodbye garburator, this Victoria company has a clean composting solution

Sepura has made Time Magazine’s ‘100 Best Inventions of 2020’ for its hassle-free functioning

Christmas lights are something that people can do to celebrate the season that are not impacted by COVID-19. (file photo)
Editorial: Give your loved ones some kindness and some space this year

Holiday season will be different this year and we’ll have to adjust our Christmas plans this year.

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

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

Work is underway to bring a Nordic-themed Christmas display to Uptown Shopping Centre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Outdoor skating rink, road mural among holiday festivities at Saanich mall

Santa dons a clear mask for photos at Uptown this winter

Peninsula Panthers' owner and general manager Pete Zubersky questions the decision-making process leading to the suspension of play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL). (Black Press Media File)
Peninsula Panthers’ owner questions process behind suspension of Junior B hockey action

Pete Zubersky does not understand actions of provincial body administering amateur sports

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

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

Winner plans on trips to Cape Breton and Scotland

A spokesperson for the Peninsula Country Market is upset that their third and final Winter Market won’t happen this Saturday in Central Saanich’s Centennial Park following moves by the municipality. (Facebook/Peninsula Country Market)
Central Saanich postpones weekend Winter Market, organizers upset

Lorea Tomsin said municipality’s move runs counter to provincial direction

Brenda’s Brats have cancelled their Christmas variety shows due to COVID-19, but they are hoping you will still donate to the CMS Food Bank. (Submitted)
Cancellations dot the Cowichan event calendar

Christmas train and Run For The Claus among the events that won’t happen

Most Read