Premier John Horgan says he’s seeking legal advice to see if B.C. can stop other Canadians from travelling into our province for non-essential reasons.
Horgan mentioned that he’s been speaking with other premiers, however Canadian constitution allows free travel within the country. He says although it’s been being discussed, he wants to find out whether provincial governments can act on it.
“I want to put this either to rest – so that British Columbians understand that we cannot do that, and we’re not going to do that – or there is a way to do it and we’re going to work with other provinces to achieve it,” Horgan said to the media on Thursday.
Where Are The Concerns of Interprovincial Travel?
There seems to be concerns about interprovincial travel into Whistler over the winter break. However, Whistler’s mayor, John Compton, says the city isn’t drawing the visitors it has in the past, due to the pandemic.
“To be honest, there are very few people here,” said Crompton.
Some have even proposed a non-essential travel ban between Vancouver Island and other parts of the province.
Another recent concern is the fact that it’s been known that thousands of people have travelled from B.C. to places like Hawaii and Mexico over the past two months. However, all people returning or arriving from outside Canada must quarantine for two weeks. Those travelling from other provinces into B.C. do not have to.
While public health officers are recommending against all non-essential travel, it is not law. Dr. Bonnie Henry mentioned that her office did not have the authority to impose travel bans.
When Will We Know If There Will Be a Ban or Not?
Horgan’s government is awaiting to see if the ban will be a breach of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Horgan stated, “I think that we’ve tried our best to appeal to people’s common sense.” He expects a virtual cabinet retreat this weekend to speak about the issue, and hopes for a decision next week.
A recent poll, by Angus Reid, found that 65% of Canadians would be in favour of a travel ban. The poll also found that support to ban travel was highest in Ontario and lowest in Alberta. In B.C., just under 60% agreed.
Share Your Thoughts
Do you think that B.C. should ban interprovincial travel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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