FILE - The Sandspit Airport is pictured in 2008. North Coast Regional District Area E Director Evan Putterill took to social media on Thursday, June 4, 2020 to call for a clearly communicated plan to ease Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Director calls for clear plan to ease Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions

Evan Putterill advocating for Haida Gwaii to follow Restart B.C. plan with 3 to 4-week travel buffer

The North Coast Regional District director for Sandspit is advocating for a more “clearly communicated” plan to ease Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Area E Director Evan Putterill took to social media on June 4, to say he believed the joint decision of the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) and local governments to implement travel restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic was the right thing to do because of the “high degree of uncertainty and risk” at the time.

However, he said “this reality has changed in B.C. and the local order has not changed with this reality.”

ALSO READ: Payments for CERB top $40 billion as feds open doors for commercial rent help

ALSO READ: Federal deficit likely now at $260 billion due to COVID-19, PBO says

“I want to make it 100 per cent clear that as the elected leader for the community of Sandspit I do not support open-ended or creeping travel restrictions without a clearly communicated plan to ease restrictions based on science from the [BC Centre for Disease Control] and province,” Putterill said.

“The current local restrictions on Haida Gwaii are not sustainable, they are not in the best interest of our physical or mental health, they are not in the best interest of the financial health of workers and small businesses.

“The right balance has not been struck and the lack of a clearly articulated plan on how we are moving forward is resulting in confusion, frustration, businesses being unable to make plans needed to operate and put people back to work before [the Canada Emergency Response Benefit] 16-week period ends in early July.

“I stand united with the [First Nation] and [local government] leadership on many issues, including implementing these restrictions in the first place, but we are now failing to adapt to the changing reality and failing to provide the clarity needed moving forward.”

ALSO READ: Haida Gwaii woman with intestinal mass worried elective surgeries ‘being forgotten’

Putterill said he had been advocating for weeks behind closed doors to follow the Restart B.C. plan with a three to four-week delay period for non-resident travel, and for clear communication so that residents and businesses are able to plan ahead.

According to the Restart B.C. plan, if the virus transmission rate remains low or in decline, hotels and resorts are allowed to reopen in June under enhanced safety protocols.

ALSO READ: ‘Good news:’ Council of the Haida Nation releases guidelines for expanding social circles

His Facebook post closely followed the CHN’s June 2 release of the next steps in Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 response, including guidelines to expand social circles, and safely use local parks, playgrounds, trails and other outdoor spaces that may be at least partially reopening.

The next steps said non-resident and all leisure travel to Haida Gwaii was still not permitted by the CHN, but did not provide a time frame for potential reopening.

ALSO READ: Village of Port Clements council meets to discuss local vision of B.C.’s restart plan

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusSandspit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Abbotsford Agrifair’s Drive-Thru Safari debuts

Event draws well as families look for entertainment in COVID-19 era

Abbotsford Police respond to incident on Edgeview Place

Cul-de-sac closed for several hours after mental health situation with young man on Sunday

Fraser Valley Bandits release top forward Cameron Forte

A team leader through four games of the CEBL Summer Series, Forte has been cut loose

The Happy Hiker, Art Lengkeek, recognized with bench and plaque on Mount Cheam trail

The 88 year old is a familiar sight on trails throughout the Fraser Valley and beyond

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Wildfire breaks out near Harrison Hot Springs

1.5 hectare fire is reportedly human caused

Police lay out details of mental health response in Abbotsford over long weekend

APD officers assist mental health team for three hours yesterday, man sent to hospital with injury

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Fraser Valley Bandits clinch playoff spot with win

Bandits down Niagara River Lions 70-57 on Sunday, improve to 3-2

Most Read