Update from Aimee Watson

If you missed it, the Province announced new orders under the Emergency Program Act yesterday. I have copied the specifics along with the press release below. 

While I spent the better part of the day on the phone learning what this will mean on the ground for us, I am still unsure. As I learn more, I will share it here and onto the respective community pages. Email me if you have questions and I will answer what I can. awatson@rdck.bc.ca

A personal note, first to ensure you know to reach out to me with any concerns and I will direct or assist where I can. Second, I plead with you all to take the directives of self isolation seriously. Reach out to those who may need extra support to ensure they have what they need to stay home. 

The previous sites I posted are also updated daily, I will re-post with this note. There are daily announcements of new supports, please do check these sites.
Regional Business supports:
https://futures.bc.ca/covid-19-support-for-businesses/
Provincial Supports:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/…/emerge…/covid-19-provincial-support
http://michellemungall.ca/news/covid-19/…
Federal Supports:
https://www.canada.ca/…/departm…/economic-response-plan.html

Provincial Declaration:

“On March 18, 2020, a provincial state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) to support the provincial health officer and minister of health in the timely and effective provincial response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This declaration will make sure federal, provincial and local resources are delivered in a joint, co-ordinated effort to best protect British Columbians.

Under a provincial state of emergency, the minister of public safety and solicitor general has extraordinary powers under the EPA to take steps necessary to prevent, respond or alleviate the impacts of an emergency.

These powers, issued by ministerial order, include the means to secure critical supply chains, ensure people have access to essential goods and services to keep society running, and make sure critical infrastructure and materials are readily available to support COVID-19 response and public safety orders are enforced.

Ministerial orders using the extraordinary powers of the EPA support a government-wide approach to COVID-19 response and recovery throughout the state of emergency, and are guided by the Pandemic Provincial Coordination Plan.

Maintaining the supply chain for essential goods and services 
A new, Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit will co-ordinate goods and services distribution in partnership with industry.
– The Province will take a more active role in co-ordinating essential goods and services movement by land, air, marine and rail. 
– All air services required to transport essential goods, services or personnel shall be managed through establishing of a Coordinated Provincial Air Service.
– Any bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day are suspended.
– The Province will identify and take control of warehouses and other facilities for gathering supplies and resources if required.

Protecting Consumers 
– The resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning products and other essential supplies is prohibited.
– The Province will work with retailers and industry to restrict quantities of certain items purchased at point of sale to make sure there is enough supply for those who need them.

Enforcement
Municipal bylaw officers are enabled to be re-deployed to support enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders and directives carrying fines of over $25,000 or jail, to be determined by the courts under the authority of the Public Health Act.

Travel
Direct passenger and car ferry operators, in consultation with the Province, will provide minimum service levels and priority access for residents, and essential goods and workers.

Protecting the most vulnerable
Regulatory and administrative barriers will be removed to make it easier to support critical services for vulnerable people, like food banks and shelters.

Evictions due to loss of income related to COVID-19 that would otherwise be allowed under the Residential Tenancy Act will be prevented or suspended.

Better emergency response and recovery co-ordination 
All orders issued under local states of emergency under COVID-19 will be suspended and local governments will activate their emergency plans.

The City of Vancouver’s state of emergency orders remain. Going forward, the city will require permission to issue further new orders under its state of emergency.

Public facilities, like community centres, will be identified to be used for pandemic response: self-isolation, testing, medical care, warehousing and distribution.

Mutual aid agreements will be put in place for first responders.
Local governments will be given the ability to hold more flexible meetings to expedite decisions.

Local governments will be directed to develop business continuity plans and advanced planning for other emergencies, such as freshet flooding and wildfires.

Additional measures
On the direction of the Province, a hotel operator or commercial lodging operator must provide accommodation services for the purposes of self-isolation, supporting essential workforces or for other purposes identified by the Province.
Ministerial orders issued under the Emergency Program Act can be found here: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/content/mo/mo/1115649140/…

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