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

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Former White Rock mayor, MP shares community connections via YouTube

Gordie Hogg aims to highlight those who’ve impacted South Surrey, White Rock

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read