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

Chilliwack trustee removed from committees, district invites

Barry Neufeld’s censure involves four forms of reprimand due to recent Facebook post

Chilliwack RCMP support Special Olympics athletes

This year’s torch run aiming to raise $30,000 for B.C.’s athletes

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Body of Maple Ridge man recovered near Harrison Lake

21-year-old last seen on May 16 when he fell into Silver Creek

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Fraser Valley libraries to offer contactless hold pick-ups

FVRL Express — Click, Pick, Go service to be offered at all 25 locations starting June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read