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What are the police and government allowed to do in BC under their COVID emergency powers? What rights do I have?

Reviewed by
Nov 4, 2021

Emergency powers make it easier and quicker for governments to enact and enforce certain laws to help them address the emergency. The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) made a fact sheet to help you understand What is an Emergency Order?, including what laws governments have used to try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and what the risks are if the government went too far. See also the BCCLA’s fact sheet on Policing the Pandemic to learn more about how emergency orders can be enforced during the emergency.

Please note that the COVID-19 provincial state of emergency declared under the Emergency Program Act ended at 11:59 pm on June 30, 2021. Although most restrictions have been lifted as part of phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan, there are some limitations that will remain in place until BC enters the final stage of the Restart Plan.

Be aware that travel into Canada continues to have restrictions with severe penalties and consequences if you do not follow the orders. If you enter Canada from abroad, you may be required to isolate or quarantine. (The federal government website explains the difference.) You can be fined or jailed for failing to follow this order.