The B.C. government is extending its provincial state of emergency.

This will allow  Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

The state of emergency will continue to the end of the day on June 23rd.

The province says this will allow it to continue “to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe.”

“Under the provincial state of emergency, our government continues to address the variety of needs throughout British Columbia in response to COVID-19,” Farnworth said. “We’ve been working with communities throughout this crisis, and the provincial state of emergency helps ensure our efforts continue in a mindful and coordinated way.”

“As we continue to slowly and carefully reopen our economy, British Columbians are starting to see aspects of normal life return. But it’s important to remember that we’re not out of the woods yet,” Premier John Horgan said. 

“There are a lot of people, businesses and communities that continue to need a hand right now, and the extension of this state of emergency helps us do that.”

The provincial government can extend the period of a declaration made by the minister responsible for further periods of up to 14 days at a time.

During the 2017 wildfire season, the province was in a provincial state of emergency for 10 weeks from July 7 to Sept. 15.