The BC Liberals are calling on the B.C. authorities to work to close down the one park within the nation permitting tenting for American and Canadian guests amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Surrey MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Trevor Halford urged Premier John Horgan to name on Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to shut public entry to Peace Arch Park on the U.S. aspect till it’s deemed secure for non-essential cross-border journey.
There was a current spike in everlasting tents within the park and a subsequent rise in neighbours’ complaints of individuals disregarding public well being tips.
The park is on U.S. soil, however has at all times been handled as a impartial space the place guests from both nation will not be required to quarantine or produce a detrimental COVID-19 check, not like cross-border travellers arriving by air or land.
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“At a time when COVID-19 variants might unfold shortly, it’s extra important than ever to take motion to guard our communities,” Halford, the MLA for Surrey-White Rock, mentioned Wednesday.
“Numerous constituents have been reaching out to us, involved for his or her security, as Canadians and Individuals proceed to benefit from an unwritten loophole that permits for face-to-face contact at Peace Arch Park, solely to return dwelling with out being topic to Canadian quarantine legal guidelines and Provincial Well being Orders.”
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Halford and Cadieux mentioned space residents have reported busy streets and greater than 75 tents pitched over the weekend, with individuals coming in from both aspect of the border and plenty of with out masks.
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Thus far, Washington officers haven’t proven any willingness to shut the U.S. aspect, whereas the Canadian aspect has been closed since June.
Cross-border visits minimize off at Peace Arch Park
At a information convention on Wednesday, Horgan instructed reporters that the park is just not provincial or state jurisdiction and any determination would must be made by the federal authorities.
He additionally mentioned B.C. well being officers haven’t recorded any COVID-19 transmission occasions related with visits on the park.
“Dr. (Bonnie) Henry has not raised it with me that it’s a priority and if on the finish of this press convention, I’ve obtained a voicemail from her that tells me in any other case I’m pleased to get again to you,” Horgan mentioned.
“However my sense is that we need to encourage individuals to have good behaviour and if the people who find themselves coming from the south to the U.S. aspect of Peace Arch and assembly with their family members for transient visits, I’m reluctant to get in the best way of that.”
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