'You're better than that': Horgan appeals to province amid reports of mass gatherings across B.C.
VICTORIA -- B.C. Premier John Horgan used his weekly address from Victoria on Thursday to respond to recent reports of large parties and mass gatherings across the province amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"After observing footage from Kelowna, after observing footage of a drum circle in the Lower Mainland, I have to say to British Columbians: Come on, you're better than that," Horgan said from outside the B.C. legislature.
"The challenge ahead of us is enormous. COVID-19 is still very much in our community."
The premier reminded British Columbians of the early progress that was made in tackling the coronavirus pandemic in B.C. and appealed to residents to avoid rolling back that progress.
"When your buddies contract COVID-19, that gets your attention pretty quickly," Horgan said, adding he is reluctant to crack down with enforcement against such gatherings, preferring instead to appeal to the good sense of British Columbians.
Horgan reiterated the messaging of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to maintain physical distance from others, wear a mask when distance cannot be maintained and stay home if sick.
Horgan touched on the unprecedented nature of the challenge that his government and the province as a whole has faced during COVID-19.
"It's been 100 years since the last pandemic," Horgan said. "There was no guidebook in my desk when I arrived."
Despite his appeal to British Columbians to "use their good sense," Horgan reminded residents of the steady progress that has been made compared to other jurisdictions.
"We've made better progress than anywhere in Canada up until the past couple of weeks," the premier said.
"The average caseload over the past week in British Columbia has been 30 [cases] – 30 every day," Horgan said. "In Washington state, the average has been 829 new cases every day, in Alberta 116 new cases every day. Those are trends that are not good for our neighbours and they're not good for British Columbians."
Horgan thanked the federal government for stepping up enforcement against foreign boaters on B.C.'s waterways.
"I'm grateful the federal government responded so quickly to my appeal," Horgan said.
"I have zero problem with boaters staying in the water off the shores of British Columbia. But if you're going to dock in British Columbia and you're not an essential traveller, you're not allowed to do that."