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Kootenay Columbia MP responds to BC Mounties opposition to new COVID-19 orders

MP Rob Morrison said the National Police Federation has been hearing loud and clear from a growing number of RCMP members asking to oppose this order.

Not everyone supports the recent implementation of lockdown measures recently introduced to the public by the BC Provincial Government.

Friday, on the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO), Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, issued a new order using the extraordinary powers of the Emergency Program Act to prohibit non-essential travel between three regional zones in the province, using health authority boundaries. 

The regional zones are:

  1. Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions);
  2. Vancouver Island (Island Health region); and
  3. Northern/Interior (Interior Health and Northern Health regions).

While the order puts legal limits only on travel between regional zones, the PHO’s guidance remains unchanged throughout B.C.: everyone should continue to stay within their local community – essential travel only.

“The President of the National Police Federation recently issued a statement rejecting the latest BC travel ban enforcement order,” Rob Morrison, MP for Kootenay Columbia said in a media release Tuesday.

“In the statement the NPF says they have, “been hearing loud and clear from a growing number of RCMP members asking us to oppose this order.”

Morrison added that in a subsequent release they reference a risk of public backlash and legal ambiguity.

The BC Government said this order will be in effect from April 23 through May 25, 2021, (after the May long weekend). and applies to everyone in the province, including non-essential travellers from outside the province.

Morrison said the RCMP are already shouldering a heavy and increased workload.

 “Enforcing this order puts even greater pressure on limited resources,” Morrison said. “Meaning, if they are enforcing roadblocks throughout BC, what existing duties fall through the cracks and how will that impact British Columbians.”

Morrison goes on to say that, given what is outlined in the Charter, no government should be ordering the RCMP to profile citizens who are traveling within Canada.

Morrison said he will be following up with Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and RCMP Commissioner Lucki on this issue.