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

Four activists face charges linked to 2019 Abbotsford hog-farm protest

Mischief and break-and-enter charges laid for incidents on four separate days prior to the protest

Three men face attempted murder charges after Harrison Hot Springs stabbing

Man, 24, sent to hospital with life-threatening injuries following attack Wednesday

‘Tiny home’ being built for Abbotsford woman with severe allergies

Online campaign raises $59,000 for custom cargo trailer for Katie Hobson

Chilliwack children can get tested locally, Fraser Health confirms

Erroneous information online and via 811 has many families driving to Abbotsford for testing

Face masks will be mandatory for customers at all Walmart locations

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

Most Read