Cabinet to discuss phasing in a 'return to normalcy': Horgan
VANCOUVER -- Premier John Horgan said cabinet will begin discussing in the coming days how they will phase in a "return to normalcy."
Horgan said every day they are receiving new information, but he reiterated the importance of continuing to follow the guidance of public health officials.
"If we are going to be successful, we have to hold fast," he said.
Horgan made the remarks Wednesday afternoon after a weekly cabinet meeting, where he also expressed gratitude for local companies stepping up to make personal protective equipment and artists sharing their work online. But Horgan also expressed concern over giving people "false hope" in providing an early date for a change in restrictions in B.C.
"I think the public can expect that I'll have something to say about how we open up sooner than the middle of May but we need to be guided by the science," he said.
Horgan said he wants to ensure a seamless transition into as much normalcy as possible, and further announcements on the province's next steps will be made "when the time is right."
"I want to make sure that we're not getting ahead of ourselves, and I don't want British Columbians to take comfort in the early successes we've had in the last couple of weeks," he said. "What I know for sure is that British Columbians don't want to give up the progress we've made for an early start that will put us back on our heels and perhaps in further restrictions as the summer proceeds."
The premier also stressed the need for B.C. residents to feel safe in their workplaces, and if they did not feel safe accessing public transit or accessing goods and services, they would stay home and continue to be afraid.
"We need to come out of this hopeful and optimistic," he said.
Horgan also noted the challenge of the outbreak at United Poultry Ltd., a Vancouver food processing facility, which he said will have an impact the province's virus numbers.
"It will skew our numbers in the short term," said Horgan, which he said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry would elaborate on in her daily briefing.
"The outbreak in the poultry facility is a warning call that we can't get too complacent. We need to make sure that our workplaces are safe."
The premier also announced the opening of a new urgent primary care centre on April 27 in Victoria.
Watch an American Sign Language translation of the news conference on the provincial government's YouTube page.