FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – At a special City of Fort St. John Council Meeting on Tuesday, Council made a decision to declare a state of local emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the meeting, there was some division among Council on the declaration, with Councillors Gord Klassen and Byron Stewart voting against it. They both expressed concerns that there are other ways to deal with the situation than a state of emergency.
Below is a copy of the entire Council meeting. Watch the entire debate below.
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By declaring a state of emergency, it gives the City more power in employment services, the rationing of food and supplies if needed, and asking industry partners to minimize impacts to the local health system by setting up their own isolation and quarantine measures.
The City’s main concern is around industrial camps outside of Fort St. John and the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak at one of those facilities including Site C. The City wants to make sure large industrial camps create their own quarantine measures so they don’t cause any undue burden on the hospital in Fort St. John.
The state of emergency will be put in place for seven days and may be extended if needed, depending on the state of the situation.