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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Skeena Sawmills in Terrace reach labour agreement with local United Steelworkers union

The four and a half year long deal was ratified on May 19, 2020 and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020

RCMP searching for missing Terrace man

Tyler Montague last made contact with family June 24

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Skeena Voices: Finding peace and purpose in Terrace

Salvation Army Lieutenant Rick Apperson reflects on his journey ahead of a move to Hazelton

Conservation officers kill black bear near Terrace

Bear was getting into garbage in town, not afraid of humans

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Most Read