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Horgan: Lock it down, severe travel restrictions starting Friday

BC ferry travel also affected

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BC is about to go into a travel lockdown, but the premier — unlike his Ontario counterpart — did not involve the police, but did promise fines for non-compliance.

“This is not the time to load up the Winnebago and travel around British Columbia,” Premier John Horgan said Monday.

“If you live in the Fraser Health area, by all means, take a few days, get outside, perhaps go to a campground in your local area. But do not try and book somewhere outside of your area because the tourism operator in that community will not book your passage.”

Horgan announced his NDP government is working on regulations that would restrict the non-essential travel of British Columbians within their own health regions.

“Non-essential travel should be confined to local travel only,” he said during an afternoon press conference.

B.C. will also be putting up signs along the Alberta border, the premier said.

These signs will remind travellers “unless they’re coming for essential business, they should not be here. They should be back in their home communities.”

The new orders — announced March 29 as part of the province’s slate of “circuit breaker” measures — include extending the bans on indoor dining at restaurants and indoor group fitness activities by five weeks.

B.C. struggled with record-breaking numbers of coronavirus cases that end up in a hospital stay, a difficult situation that’s resulted in some health officials delaying a few non-emergency surgeries in the Lower Mainland.

However, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel — BC’s weekly average for new cases has dropped to 1,077 per day since reaching an April 12 record of 1,129 .

Still, Horgan is focused on people leaving their neighbourhoods and vowed he’ll do what must be done to make sure the travel order takes place.

Horgan said businesses in the tourism industry are helping by not taking any travel bookings from people outside of the particular area, including from outside the province.

“If we can’t do it without an order, we’re prepared to bring an order in,” Horgan said.

Utilizing B.C.’s Emergency Program Act, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth is expected to issue the orders Friday.

“This will be conducted through random audits, not unlike roadside stops for a Counterattack during the Christmas season,” Horgan said.

“There will be a fine if you are travelling outside of your area without a legitimate reason,” Horgan said.

It was not immediately known how much the fines could be.

The premier added authorities will be consulting with the BIPOC community – black, indigenous and people of colour – to make sure the restrictions are put in place “in a way that does not give anyone fear that there will be additional repercussions.

“This is about travel,” Horgan said, while adding police will receive no additional authority.

“This will be a random audit to ensure people are following the guidelines.”

BC Ferries — and those who depend on them — will also be affected, Horgan said.

BC Ferries won’t accept bookings for recreational vehicles.

The COVID-19 update came as health officials announced the extension of other public health orders in B.C. through the May long weekend.

Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.
mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

Mike D'Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief and Copy Editor for the Western Standard. He worked as an investigative crime reporter at the Calgary & Winnipeg Suns. mdamour@westernstandardonline.com

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Baron Not Baron

    April 23, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    One individual and his minions keep all the mentally castrated population in control. Here’s the thing.. they will bury you or you will bury them. There’s no midway, in case you were hoping for a “compromise”.

  2. Daniel

    April 22, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Canadians should pledge not to spend a dime in that province.

  3. Left Coast

    April 22, 2021 at 9:12 am

    Listened to Horgan’s idiot Health Minister telling the NW listeners about the “Vicious Virus” ? ? ?
    Dix is a clown show . . . under 60 survival rate is 99.9% . . . . too bad the clueless feckless Health Minister ignored the over 60 population for a YEAR ! ! !

  4. Left Coast

    April 20, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Horgan . . . the incredible shrinking man !

    Keep doing “Lockdowns” over & over . . . . Expecting a different result!

    Stop the Fake PCR Testing and your “Cases” will disappear . . . still waiting for the FakeStream Media to ask Dr. Bonnie how many of the “Cases” become SICK?
    I suspect the number is so low you can count them on your two hands . . .

  5. Mars Hill

    April 19, 2021 at 10:09 pm

    Bugs Bunny has more depth and chutzpah.

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Third pastor arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID lockdowns

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon.

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A Calgary baptist preacher has become the third religious leader arrested in Alberta for breaking COVID-19 regulations over church attendance.

Pastor Tim Stephens, of the Fairview Baptist Church, was arrested by city police on Sunday afternoon. He had been the subject of repeated warnings from Alberta Health Services for having too many people at his services.

Earlier this month, on the church’s website, Stephens vowed to contiue services.

“Our actions are borne out of theological commitments to the Lordship of Christ and his instruction to the church as revealed in Scripture,” wrote Stephens.

“This, above all, is the reason why we have been gathering and will continue to gather … the consequences may be severe. But we stand before Christ rather than bend before consequences.”

Pastor James Coates, of the GraceLife Church, outside Edmonton, spent a month in jail after he was arrested by the RCMP for breaking lockdown regulations repeatedly. His case is still before the courts.

Last week, Pastor Art Pawlowski was arrested in Calgary for continuing to flout the regulations at his street chruch.

Calgary police at the AHS issued a joint statement saying Stephens was “arrested this afternoon for organizing a church service that was held today at Fairview Baptist Church, located at 230 78 Ave. S.E., that did not comply with public health orders, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. Police did not enter the church during today’s service.

“CPS has received repeated calls from concerned citizens regarding church services held at Fairview Baptist Church over the past several weeks. Last weekend, Pastor Stephens was proactively served a copy of the Court of Queen’s Bench Order obtained by AHS,” the statement said.

“The pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask-wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees.

“For several weeks, AHS has attempted to work collaboratively with leadership at Fairview Baptist Church to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site. It is only when significant risk is identified or continued non-compliance is noted that AHS resorts to enforcement action.

“Once again, CPS acknowledges it is important to understand that law enforcement recognizes people’s desire to participate in faith-based gatherings as well as the right to protest. However, as we are still in a global pandemic, we all must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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LETTER: Hypocrisy in high school rodeo approval

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

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RE: Hinshaw grants approval for high school rodeos

Dr. Hinshaw approved school rodeos after Premier Kenney thought the rodeo near Bowden was a bad idea. It’s the mixed messaging these two are giving that is making me mad. A lockdown with very minimum exemptions is what I thought Hinshaw wanted, but apparently not. A school rodeo can bloody well wait until after the lockdown is completed!! Let up on the Whistle Stop Cafe then, Dr. Hinshaw. What a bully.

It’s a real kick by Hinshaw, at the Whistle Stop Cafe owner. With his cafe now in chains, while Dr. Hinshaw gives out approvals during this so-called circuit breaker lockdown.

I see the hypocrisy Premier Kenney, can you?

Steven Ruthven
Calgary, AB

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Opposition calls for crackdown on animal activists

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

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By EMMA GREGORY

A coalition of federal Conservatives, NDP and Bloc MPs want to increase punishment for animal rights activists trespassing on farms, because they might make the animals sick.

A proposed private members bill, C-205, would amend the Health of Animals Act to punish trespassers on farms with a maximum $250,000 fine and/or a maximum two-year prison sentence.

Chief Veterinary Officer for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said there are no proven instances of an animal rights activists spreading a disease to animals while protesting at a farm.

“To our knowledge, there are not many documented cases from trespassing or from people having demonstrations. The one that I heard is the one in Quebec, but I’m not actually sure if there is evidence of transmission from the activists to the pigs. So in the scientific literature, we have not seen much evidence of transmission of disease from these activities,” said Dr. Jaspinder Komal, to the agriculture committee earlier this month.

The one instance Komal mentioned was an allegation made by Porgreg, a pig breeding facility in Saint Hyacinthe, Que.

The activists involved in that protest, members of the group Direct Action Everywhere, are charged under the Criminal Code with breaking and entering and mischief. Whether or not they gave pigs rotavirus is a matter before the court.

Rotaviruses are common amongst pig herds and typically are transmitted from pig to pig, via the fecal-oral route.

If a human were to spread a novel rotavirus to a pig it would be in a similar fashion.

When asked if she or any of her associates pooped in the barn, activist Jenny McQueen said, “No.”

Komal said the CFIA does not police activists.

“The CFIA enforces the Health of Animals Act and regulations which address disease and biological, chemical, physical agents that may affect animals or be transmitted to persons and in the same way to protect animals from these risks…CFIA inspectors are public officers they are not peace officers… In contrast, peace officers are generally police officers, their powers include the ability to detain or arrest individuals. Peace officers may also be armed where public officers such as inspectors are not,” he said.

There are several new provincial laws that seek to lay blame for disease outbreaks in farmed animals on activists.

The Canadian Biosecurity Guideline lists an intentional act of contaminating animals with a disease is considered a possible threat of bioterrorism.

Gregory is a Vancouver-based freelance reporter

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