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Local state of emergency for COVID-19 could create conflict: Abbotsford mayor

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Mar 24, 2020 at 1:12 pm PDT

FILE - Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun. (Courtesy Henry Braun, Twitter)
Summary

B.C. has already declared a provincial state of emergency

We're just going to bump into each other: Braun

Vancouver, New Westminster, Delta and Richmond have all declared local emergencies

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) — The mayor of Abbotsford isn’t rushing to declare a local state of emergency and suggested doing so could conflict with provincial orders.

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun took part in a call with the B.C. public safety and municipal affairs minister this week. Braun said B.C. has already declared a provincial state of emergency, but municipal leaders are being asked what more they can do locally.

“It’s great to have a local state of emergency, but what are you going to do with that,” Braun asked.

He said, in some cases, local and provincial emergencies could conflict and send mixed messages.

“In same cases, it conflicts with jurisdiction,” he added. “We’re just going to bump into each other, is the message I received, which, if we’re not co-ordinated, is going to create chaos.”

Braun said municipalities need to create a bylaw if they want broader powers.

” Well, that could take a month. We don’t have a month,” he added. “I think in two weeks’ time, we’re going to be surprised at where we are, never mind a month.”

For now, Braun is comfortable following the lead of the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Vancouver, New Westminster, Delta and Richmond have all declared local emergencies, while Surrey is facing pressure to do the same.

Abbotsford, meanwhile, closed all playground structures and skate parks until further notice.