B.C. can’t prevent ban interprovincial travel

Province sought legal opinion on potential ban 

A ban on Canadians from other provinces coming to British Columbia appears unlikely, with the province releasing a statement on Jan. 21 that it would not be possible with the current legal frameworks in place. 

In a statement, B.C. Premier John Horgan said the province had called for a legal review on the matter to see if such a move was possible. 

“The review of our legal options made it clear we can’t prevent people from travelling to British Columbia,” read the statement. “We can impose restrictions on people travelling for non-essential purposes if they are causing harm to the health and safety of British Columbians.”

The statement goes on to say that much of the current interprovincial travel currently going on is  work related, and that public health officials are stressing the need for the public to obey health orders, rather than impose mobility rules.

Horgan did, however, indicate that stronger restrictions on non-essential interprovincial travel could be made if transmission increases due to interprovincial travel. 

“If we see transmission increase due to interprovincial travel, we will impose stronger restrictions on non-essential travellers,” reads the statement. “We will continue to work with the tourism and hospitality sectors to make sure all possible safety precautions are in place.”

The whole subject of inter-provincial, non-essential travel—and whether it should be banned—became a bit of a flashpoint recently, after a Whistler emergency room physician reported seeing a worrying amount of patients from Quebec and Ontario during the holiday period and called for a halt to non-essential, inter-provincial travel.

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