The COVID-19 Related Measures Act will extend certain ministerial orders made under the Emergency Program Act (EPA), create regulations that provide protection from civil liability, and introduce two permanent, targeted amendments to the EPA.
Under this new legislation, British Columbians can be confident that the emergency orders enacted by government will not end abruptly the moment the declaration of a state of emergency ends. The COVID-19 Recovery Measures Act will extend certain orders by 45 or 90 days and, given the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19, will also provide the possibility for extension of COVID-19 related orders by up to one year after the act is brought into force. It will also ensure that businesses and individuals who operate responsibly and in accordance with public health orders and guidelines are exempt from civil liability. And finally, the targeted EPA amendments clarify the powers available to the minister under section 10 to “do all acts and implement all procedures that the minister considers necessary,” and delegate some specific powers to cabinet instead of a single minister.