With roughly 44 per cent of British Columbians now vaccinated with their first COVID-19 dose, the provincial state of emergency was formally extended again on Tuesday, giving health and emergency management officials extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) to reinforce the province’s pandemic response.
The state of emergency is extended through the end of day on May 25.
The emergency extension is based on recommendations from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials. The original declaration was made on March 18, 2020, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency.
The province continues, with backing of police and other enforcement officials, to use measures under the EPA such as issuing tickets for owners, operators and organizers who host an event or gathering contravening Henry’s provincial health orders (PHO).
Between Aug. 21, 2020, and May 7, 2021, 1,974 violation tickets were issued, including: 361 violation tickets ($2,300 each) to owners or organizers contravening the PHO order on gatherings and events; 54 violation tickets ($2,300 each) for contravention of the PHO’s Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order; 1,508 tickets ($230 each) to individuals who failed to comply with PHO orders; 50 tickets ($575 each) to individuals who promoted or attended a noncompliant event; and one ticket ($575) to an individual for failing to comply with travel restrictions.
Since the pandemic began, B.C. police agencies have issued 153 violation tickets to individuals who were in contravention of the Federal Quarantine Act, totalling $288,736.