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Horgan: province will not punish COVID-19 offenders

By Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Published 12:35 PDT, Thu July 23, 2020

BC premier John Horgan had a message for people attending large outdoor gatherings: “Come on, you’re better than that.”

He reiterated provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recommendations to stay apart and use layers of protection, but said that the government will not pursue punitive measures for those who do not follow guidelines.

“I just do not believe that prescribing behaviour and penalizing people for bad behaviour is where we’re at right now,” said Horgan. “I think that we’ve got a lot of summer ahead of us and we’ve got an opportunity for people to give themselves a bit of a shake and act better and we’ll see how that goes.”

If you have a party, Horgan said, keep it to people you know. Inviting those from outside your group means an increased number of contacts which could put you at risk.

And if you see a friend acting irresponsibly, speak up, Horgan added.

“I’m appealing to those who recognize the risk that people are taking to tell their friends: hey man, this is bad behaviour, we shouldn’t do this, let’s find some other way to have some fun. Let’s do it in bigger spaces with fewer faces,” he said.

Appealing to the common sense of young people, he said the key is respecting each other.

“People need to understand that there are consequences,” he said. “Young people are not immune. Young people are not invincible. All of us are in this together—adults, children and youth, and we all need to act responsibly.”

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