British Columbia government welcomes border closure, widespread coronavirus restrictions | KNKX

British Columbia government welcomes border closure, widespread coronavirus restrictions

Mar 18, 2020

The closure of the U.S.-Canadian border is being welcomed by provincial government officials in British Columbia. They have been asking the federal government for such a closure all week. 

Officials of the British Columbia government have been bluntly telling tourists from the U.S. not to visit British Columbia since Monday.

British Columbia Minister for Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the B.C. government is glad the border has finally been closed.

“In terms of the border, Ottawa has listened to B.C.'s concerns,” Farnworth said. “Closing of the border to all but essential border crossings and the ability to allow commercial crossings to continue I think is extremely important to us here in British Columbia.”

Any person who has recently entered Canada for non-essential travel will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Farnworth also has declared a provincial state of emergency.

He says this declaration allows for better coordination between the different levels of government. He is not anticipating having to use other powers allowed under the declaration, such as setting gas prices and the rationing of food supplies.

The Declaration of Emergency will last for two weeks, it can then be renewed by the provincial Legislature.

The mayor of Vancouver also is asking city council to declare a state of emergency.

The B.C. Legislature is reconvening next Monday, with only the basic minimum of elected officials, to pass financial aid legislation and a budgetary supply act.