The B.C. Green Party have critiqued the British Colombia New Democratic Party (B.C. NDP) for it’s public health policies and lack of transparency regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The Greens are now calling for more targeted measures, which would help cease the transmission of the virus.

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau has revealed her frustration over the governement’s lax measures and it’s ”passive and reactive” approach to limit the spread of COVID. She pointed out that countries overseas have been successful in controling the virus, notably through more ”aggressive” measures.

”That’s been a significant part of their success in keeping numbers down,” affirmed Furteneau, as reported by the Vancouver Sun.

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her regular coronavirus update in B.C. on April 12, 2021.

The measures proposed by the Greens

First and foremost, the Party is asking for more accuracy and clarity in the report of COVID cases and vaccines. In order to remedy this shortcoming, the Greens suggest increasing the number of COVID brieflings from twice a week to a daily basis. They also request that the governement release data on weekends and reflect on different ways to sensitize people who have been negligeant of COVID restrictions.

Secondly, members of the Party also call for B.C. to further develop asymptomatic and rapid testing in public spaces, such as schools, workplaces and neighbourhoods. There is also the need to increase the efficiency and speed of COVID vaccination and the detection of variants.

Moreover, Furstenau claims that most students should attend their classes online and the province should strenghten regulations aimed at non-essential travelers. Finally, more financial support should be provided to non-essential businesses to keep them from shutting down.

The governement’s view on the matter

When asked about the possibility of implementing tougher measures, B.C. Premier John Hourgan seemed pessimistic. According to the Vancouver Sun, he claimed that stricter measures in other Canadian provinces have not been effective in keeping the virus away.

He said: ”The notion of having a curfew is something that’s not necessarily being particularly effective in combat. Some of the harsher restrictions in Ontario have not seen a decline in the case counts there.”

However, while Horgan stated that a travel ban would be complex to implement considering the size of the province and its shared border with Alberta, he seemed open for further discussion on the matter. Recently, Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical health officer, affirmed that a “significant outbreak” of the P.1 variant was triggered by a single person traveling outside of Alberta. Following this revelation, John Hourgan and Alberta Premier Jason Kenny have discussed the effects on essential and non-essnetial travel between the provinces during a call. Therefore, there might be a possibility for the implementation of tougher measures between Alberta and B.C.

Maëli Coutu-Lupien

Maëli Coutu-Lupien is currently pursuing a BA in International relations and International Law at UQAM. She obtained her BA in Linguistics with a Minor in German in 2019 from the University of Concordia. In 2019, she worked as a Media and relations intern at the Embassy of Canada in Washington D.C. In her free time, she enjoys reading, taking walks in nature and kayaking.

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