City of Richmond granted further powers under province’s emergency orders

The emergency orders announced by B.C. Thursday will provide Richmond with more powers, according to the city.

The city says those new measures are also in line with the steps Richmond is taking to combat COVID-19.

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On Thursday, issued as orders under the Emergency Program Act, the provincial government set up a new supply chain team to control the distribution and sale of essential goods during the coronavirus pandemic, and suspended municipal states of emergency – with the exception of Vancouver – so that there would be a cohesive, rather than “patchwork,” response across B.C.

Those measures are in line with Richmond’s priorities, according to the city.

“The alignment of our priorities will maximize both the province’s and Richmond’s success in addressing COVID-19 and aiding those significantly impacted,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.

“We are strategizing how to swiftly support provincial efforts, while we continue to keep the best interests of everyone in our community, including Richmond businesses, a priority.”

Under those provincial measures, Richmond has been granted emergency powers “for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis,” according to a statement from the city.

These powers include:

  • Enabling city bylaw officers to support the enforcement of provincial health officer’s orders and directives.
  • Giving council the ability to hold more flexible meetings to expedite decisions which would accelerate the implementation of important life safety measures.
  • Coordinating potential use of local publicly owned facilities, like community centres, for self-isolation, testing, medical care, warehousing and distribution. 

Richmond declared an emergency March 19, giving the city the ability to use any power it has to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, allowing staff to work from home and for core and critical services to continue online and by phone.

Facility closures, program cancellations, precautions and special measures the city has implemented over the past several days remain in effect.

Residents and businesses are also urged to comply with the new provincial orders and recommendations of provincial health officials and Vancouver Coastal Health, said the city, including maintaining physical distancing, “stellar” hygiene, staying home when sick and adhering to business closures.

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