Horgan advises drivers with non-B.C. plates to take the bus to avoid harassment

Horgan advises drivers with non-B.C. plates to take the bus to avoid harassment

VICTORIA — Drivers in British Columbia with out-of-province licence plates, especially those from the United States, should consider taking transit or riding a bicycle if they feel harassed by local residents, says Premier John Horgan.

Horgan also suggested Monday that drivers switch to B.C. plates to avoid pointed questions from residents who are concerned about the spread of COVID-19.

“I would suggest, perhaps, public transit,” he said at a news conference. “I would suggest that they get their plates changed. I would suggest they ride a bike.”

Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have said interprovincial travel is allowed and both have stressed that a vehicle’s licence plate does not mean the driver is from outside B.C.

The border between Canada and the United States remains closed to non-essential travel until at least Aug. 21, when the issue will be reconsidered by the Canadian and American governments.

Henry said there are many reasons why people are driving vehicles with out-of-province licence plates and those drivers should be treated with respect.

“We do not know everybody’s story, and I think we need to pay attention to the fact that we all are in this together, whether our licence plate is from somewhere else, whether it’s from Alberta or whether it’s from California,” she said.

Henry reported that 81 new COVID-19 cases have been detected in B.C. since Friday, and two more residents of long-term care homes have died.

B.C. now has a total of 3,500 COVID-19 cases and 193 deaths. Henry said 3,043 people have recovered from the illness.

She said a berry packing plant near Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley is the location of the most recent COVID-19 outbreak in the province with 15 positive cases.

The outbreak on the remote island of Haida Gwaii has increased to include 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from 13 cases reported Friday, said Henry.

A recent jump of infections in B.C. has been linked to larger gatherings where officials say physical distancing protocols may not have been followed.

Henry said Monday that modifications to the rules around gatherings will now limit the number of people in short-term vacation rentals, including hotel rooms and houseboats, to the capacity of the unit plus five visitors.

Gatherings in B.C. remain limited to 50 people or less.

Police around the province have reported disputes that arose when residents questioned drivers about their out-of-province licence plates.

Horgan said he can’t tell people how to respond when seeing different licence plates, but judging people by where their vehicle is registered does not often tell a complete story.

“We don’t know why they would continue to have plates that are not consistent with B.C. and we should act accordingly,” he said.

Drivers with out-of-province plates should also be aware that B.C. has embraced numerous health restrictions in the effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the premier said.

“What I can tell these individuals is there’s a high degree of certainty in B.C. that we want to keep our borders closed until neighbouring jurisdictions get a better handle on COVID-19,” he said. “Those who are overtly declaring by their licence plates that they’re from somewhere else should be mindful of that.”

Horgan said British Columbia residents should also consider the individual circumstances of other people before making judgments based on their licence plates.

“I ask people to walk a mile in other people’s shoes and try and live those experiences before you’re judgmental,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2020.

Dirk Meissner , The Canadian Press

John Horgan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Maskwacis reporting 37 active cases

Numbers current as of Oct. 19

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Photo submitted/ Millet In Bloom
Town of Millet declared Best Blooming Community

The Town of Millet is being recognized for their efforts to meet the challenges of 2020.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Alberta's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. Advisers are reportedly recommending Alberta's kindergarten to Grade 4 arts and social studies curriculum remove all references to residential schools because it's "too sad" for young children. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Advisers suggest Alberta students not learn about residential schools before Grade 4

Documents suggest children younger than Grade 4 are too emotionally vulnerable to learn about residential schools

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

File photo
RCMP’s response to online discussions about anti-racism demonstrations

Ponoka RCMP Staff Sgt.’s comments misattributed online

Shaelynn Decock and her dog Taco, who has been missing since Aug. 26. Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake woman looking for closure for her stolen dog

Shaelynn Decock says it has been two months since she last saw her dog Taco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Most Read