Premier John Horgan. (The Canadian Press)

Premier John Horgan. (The Canadian Press)

Premier says B.C. legislature could look like ‘Hollywood Squares’ next month

B.C. health officials have endorsed the use of non-medical masks in public settings to protect others nearby

Politicians in B.C. will return to a new look legislature next month where efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 could see the house taking on the appearance of a TV game show, says Premier John Horgan.

Horgan said Wednesday he expects the legislature to resume sitting either June 15 or June 22 to pass the budget and several pieces of legislation.

“It’s going to be an innovative time,” he said at a news conference. “It’s going to be a challenging time. I think it will be an exciting time.”

Horgan said the legislature will look different for debates and question period to ensure physical distancing is followed. The use of online technology will be increased to allow politicians to participate and vote from virtual screens at the legislature or from their ridings.

“I suspect we’re going to see lots of ‘Hollywood Squares’ or ‘Brady Bunch’ type images of multiple MLAs that are in different parts of the legislature or different parts of the province participating in the dynamics of the democracy of B.C.,” he said.

Television screens are being installed throughout the legislature. Horgan suggested that spilt-screen images of politicians participating in debates will resemble scenes from the popular game show “Hollywood Squares.”

Horgan said he will wear a mask when he cannot guarantee physical distancing, adding he has about a half-dozen cloth masks.

B.C. health officials have endorsed the use of non-medical masks in public settings to protect others nearby.

In a joint statement, Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said masks should be used when it’s difficult to keep a physical distance, such as when using public transit, because it “is a good way for you to protect those around you.”

“We have to remember that face coverings keep our droplets in and don’t prevent transmission from others,” the statement says. “The best ways for us to stay safe is to wash our hands, maintain a safe physical distance from others and keep our ‘rules’ for social interactions top of mind.”

Canada’s public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, also said Wednesday that people should wear masks as an added layer of protection.

B.C. reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, an increase from the two cases announced Tuesday. Three more people have died for a death toll of 149, the government said.

There have been 2,467 positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. and 2,001 people have recovered.

The legislature last met for an emergency one-day sitting on March 23 to adopt financial spending legislation and amend employment standards to prevent people from losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

Police were called to the scene of 198A Street and 81st Avenue on the evening of Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Possible shots fired on Langley/Surrey border Thursday evening

Police had one vehicle towed and gathered evidence at the scene

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
WEATHER: Flurries in the forecast for Sunday

Langley could see snow throughout the week starting Jan. 23

Flip City’s Elise Van Harmelen at the 2017 Langley Invitational at the Langley Events Centre. Flip City is one of 11 local sports groups getting COVID relief funding. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley sports clubs get COVID relief funding

The province is giving cash to groups hit hard by shutdowns

The first tree – a Sitka spruce – in the second phase of Fort Langley’s Memory Grove was planted on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 21. (Kurt Alberts/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Second phase of Memory Grove planted at Fort Langley

The first trees started going into the ground on Thursday, Jan. 21

B.C. MInisterial Order 425 and the list of permitted exemptions to wearing face masks in retail businesses and other public spaces. (B.C. Government website)
LETTER: Langley newspaper criticized for doing story on maskless encounter

Local letter writer shares opinion on video of unmasked man in grocery store

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read