Premier John Horgan. (The Canadian Press)

Premier says B.C. legislature could look like ‘Hollywood Squares’ next month

B.C. health officials have endorsed the use of non-medical masks in public settings to protect others nearby

Politicians in B.C. will return to a new look legislature next month where efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 could see the house taking on the appearance of a TV game show, says Premier John Horgan.

Horgan said Wednesday he expects the legislature to resume sitting either June 15 or June 22 to pass the budget and several pieces of legislation.

“It’s going to be an innovative time,” he said at a news conference. “It’s going to be a challenging time. I think it will be an exciting time.”

Horgan said the legislature will look different for debates and question period to ensure physical distancing is followed. The use of online technology will be increased to allow politicians to participate and vote from virtual screens at the legislature or from their ridings.

“I suspect we’re going to see lots of ‘Hollywood Squares’ or ‘Brady Bunch’ type images of multiple MLAs that are in different parts of the legislature or different parts of the province participating in the dynamics of the democracy of B.C.,” he said.

Television screens are being installed throughout the legislature. Horgan suggested that spilt-screen images of politicians participating in debates will resemble scenes from the popular game show “Hollywood Squares.”

Horgan said he will wear a mask when he cannot guarantee physical distancing, adding he has about a half-dozen cloth masks.

B.C. health officials have endorsed the use of non-medical masks in public settings to protect others nearby.

In a joint statement, Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said masks should be used when it’s difficult to keep a physical distance, such as when using public transit, because it “is a good way for you to protect those around you.”

“We have to remember that face coverings keep our droplets in and don’t prevent transmission from others,” the statement says. “The best ways for us to stay safe is to wash our hands, maintain a safe physical distance from others and keep our ‘rules’ for social interactions top of mind.”

Canada’s public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, also said Wednesday that people should wear masks as an added layer of protection.

B.C. reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, an increase from the two cases announced Tuesday. Three more people have died for a death toll of 149, the government said.

There have been 2,467 positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. and 2,001 people have recovered.

The legislature last met for an emergency one-day sitting on March 23 to adopt financial spending legislation and amend employment standards to prevent people from losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 97 north of Quesnel down to single lane alternating

Emcon Services Inc. crews will be working on repairs between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday, May 25

Pickleballers hit the courts after City lifts COVID-19 restrictions

Patrons must follow specific health and safety guidelines

MS Walk goes virtual due to COVID-19

The annual walk to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis goes online, in #WeChallengeMS initiative

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Most Read