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Wait for Henry, Family Day for pandemic relief, B.C. premier says

Some restrictions expected to be eased for Feb. 21
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks after chairing a meeting of premiers across Canada, Feb. 4, 2022. (B.C. government photo)

A handful of protesters outside the B.C. legislature calling for an end to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions isn’t going to change B.C.’s approach to public health, Premier John Horgan said Tuesday.

After presenting the government’s throne speech with few new initiatives, Horgan addressed the frustration with two years of masks, restaurant rules and other restrictions. The decisions have been made by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and that will continue, with some easing expected by Family Day, which falls on Monday, Feb. 21.

“We don’t want to do it in a reckless and cavalier manner because some people are honking horns,” Horgan said Feb. 8.

Decisions by Saskatchewan to drop mask mandates and proof of vaccination, and similar decisions expected from Alberta, aren’t a factor either, Horgan said. Henry has not told him what is coming next, but he sees the daily hospital cases related to the pandemic and that is the guide, he said.

“Where we have had success is ensuring that workplaces have plans to protect workers and protect customers, and that should continue beyond the pandemic,” Horgan told reporters at the legislature. “I believe that masks are effective in protecting people, and I don’t believe that an arbitrary decision by an elected official is the best way forward in that regard.

Similarly, the immunization cards are used by the majority of people to ensure that the sacrifices that they’ve made provided benefits for them and their families going forward, and we’ll just see where Dr. Henry wants to go with all of this.”

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