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

Familiar name McFrugal’s returns to Langley’s retail landscape

The discount store is opening at the end of the month in the former Army and Navy location

COVID puts kibosh on Langley Rams football season

Club president hopes older players won’t lose out because of lost season

Bells ring out in Langley City to honour atomic bombing victims

Local people take part in Bells for Peace, an international event on bombings’ 75th anniversary

Construction underway on Langley’s new hospice residence

The new 15-bed facility is slated for completion in summer 2021

T-Rex earns big bids at Langley dino auction

More than 500 dino-themed items sold to buyers from across North America

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

Most Read