The City of Fernie is actively applying for a grant through the Ministry of Transportation. (Photo Submitted)

New orders change little: Fernie Mayor

Mayor Ange Qualizza said the message remained the same, and British Columbians needed to stay put

Fernie’s Mayor has said the new travel restrictions introduced today don’t change anything about the message that nobody should be travelling beyond their communities.

“There’s not a resort mayor in this province that wants to be standing up right now and asking not to visit, but for our communities to have a summer season we really need everyone to stay put right now,” said Mayor Ange Qualizza.

Under new travel restrictions announced today (April 23), B.C. has been split into three regions made up of the provincial health regions, with Interior Health and Northern Health regarded as one region. British Columbians have been told not to travel outside of their health region except for essential travel, and anyone caught outside their region without a valid reason will now be on the line for a $575 fine under the Emergency Program Act. There will also be stops by police, with more detail on how the provincial police forces will factor into the new orders to come.

Qualizza said that the new enforcement measures were necessary.

“I think we need to be reminded why these measures as in place. We’re at an incredibly vulnerable point.

“For us as a resort community, the goalpost is May 24 so we can get a summer season, so out local businesses can open up and stay healthy and profitable.”

B.C.’s Minister for Public Safety, Mike Farnworth said that further clarity on enforcement of the new travel restrictions will be released next week. A full list of valid reasons for travel is available on the B.C. Government website, and includes work, commercial transportation of goods, moving house, attending school or post-secondary education, receiving healthcare or helping someone receiving care, and attending funerals.

Travelling within your region is also discouraged, but will not be enforced through fines or stops by police.

Increased signage will be installed at borders between the regions (such as at Hope, which will be the border between the combined Northern-Interior region, and the combined Vancouver Coastal-Fraser region).

Signage will also be installed at the Alberta border discouraging non-essential travel.

Qualizza said that if anyone had any doubts or confusion about the orders, the answer to any questions they had was to stay put.

“The truth is we know what to do. We’ve been asked for 13 months to stay home and avoid non-essential travel, and from where I am sitting, that’s never been more important. If you have any confusion about the travel orders that were issued this morning, stay home.”

The new orders issued this morning are intended to stay in place until the May long weekend (May 24), with Minister Farnworth saying that the goal was for the provincial vaccination program to be significantly progressed by that point.

READ MORE: B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Kevin Allen of Fernie helped research and untangle the relationship between West Fernie and the City of Fernie, and is now writing a book on West Fernie. (Phil McLachlan / The Free Press)
Local historian writing book on West Fernie

Kevin Allen of Fernie is compiling his research on West Fernie into a book thanks to a grant from the RDEK

The design green-lit by the Sparwood District Council for the Centennial Square revitalization. It retains storefront parking, as desired by the business community in the square. (Image courtesy of District of Sparwood)
New Centennial Square design green-lit by Sparwood

The new design retains some storefront parking in the square

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read