FILE - The Sandspit Airport is pictured in 2008. North Coast Regional District Area E Director Evan Putterill took to social media on Thursday, June 4, 2020 to call for a clearly communicated plan to ease Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Director calls for clear plan to ease Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions

Evan Putterill advocating for Haida Gwaii to follow Restart B.C. plan with 3 to 4-week travel buffer

The North Coast Regional District director for Sandspit is advocating for a more “clearly communicated” plan to ease Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Area E Director Evan Putterill took to social media on June 4, to say he believed the joint decision of the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) and local governments to implement travel restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic was the right thing to do because of the “high degree of uncertainty and risk” at the time.

However, he said “this reality has changed in B.C. and the local order has not changed with this reality.”

ALSO READ: Payments for CERB top $40 billion as feds open doors for commercial rent help

ALSO READ: Federal deficit likely now at $260 billion due to COVID-19, PBO says

“I want to make it 100 per cent clear that as the elected leader for the community of Sandspit I do not support open-ended or creeping travel restrictions without a clearly communicated plan to ease restrictions based on science from the [BC Centre for Disease Control] and province,” Putterill said.

“The current local restrictions on Haida Gwaii are not sustainable, they are not in the best interest of our physical or mental health, they are not in the best interest of the financial health of workers and small businesses.

“The right balance has not been struck and the lack of a clearly articulated plan on how we are moving forward is resulting in confusion, frustration, businesses being unable to make plans needed to operate and put people back to work before [the Canada Emergency Response Benefit] 16-week period ends in early July.

“I stand united with the [First Nation] and [local government] leadership on many issues, including implementing these restrictions in the first place, but we are now failing to adapt to the changing reality and failing to provide the clarity needed moving forward.”

ALSO READ: Haida Gwaii woman with intestinal mass worried elective surgeries ‘being forgotten’

Putterill said he had been advocating for weeks behind closed doors to follow the Restart B.C. plan with a three to four-week delay period for non-resident travel, and for clear communication so that residents and businesses are able to plan ahead.

According to the Restart B.C. plan, if the virus transmission rate remains low or in decline, hotels and resorts are allowed to reopen in June under enhanced safety protocols.

ALSO READ: ‘Good news:’ Council of the Haida Nation releases guidelines for expanding social circles

His Facebook post closely followed the CHN’s June 2 release of the next steps in Haida Gwaii’s COVID-19 response, including guidelines to expand social circles, and safely use local parks, playgrounds, trails and other outdoor spaces that may be at least partially reopening.

The next steps said non-resident and all leisure travel to Haida Gwaii was still not permitted by the CHN, but did not provide a time frame for potential reopening.

ALSO READ: Village of Port Clements council meets to discuss local vision of B.C.’s restart plan

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusSandspit

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

Just Posted

Kelowna glider pilot crashes in the Columbia Valley

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the circumstances of the crash

$10,000 to support LGBTQIA2S+ youth in the Okanagan

The endowment has been provided by the First West Foundation

Police keep eye on motorbike gang in Kelowna for poker run

The Throttle Lockers Motorcycle Club Poker Run was to have taken place on July 11

COVID-19 exposure on Kelowna flight

Interior Health has capacity to test individuals who need it, but is reminding everyone that testing is not required for those who do not have symptoms

Kelowna COVID-19 cluster identified after private parties

Risks ‘considerably higher’ while attending private events, said Health Minster Adrian Dix

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Horoscopes for the week of July 13

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

Prohibited driver ticketed after rollover on Highway 1 near Salmon Arm

Jeep Cherokee hit rock face before rolling multiple times

Village of Keremeos looks to dismantle systemic racism

Mayor says the time is right to deconstruct racist institutions

Penticton woman struck by mystery bullet

Woman suffers no major injuries; RCMP without any leads, investigation continues

Use of safety flares prompt search on Shuswap Lake

Marine search and rescue crew finds boat unoccupied, no one in distress

Foul play not currently suspected in death of man found near Sicamous

Body found in woods near vehicle linked to Edmonton police investigation of suspicious death

Most Read