The B.C. and Alberta governments as well as the Columbia Shuswap Regional District have asked that residents of both provinces do not travel and stay at home over the Easter weekend. (File photo)

Column: Looking north for direction on B.C./Alberta border concerns

In Plain View by Lachlan Labere

In their frequent requests to “stay home” during this time to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, authorities should have perhaps specified which home.

Reports of Albertans making their way to their seasonal/secondary home in the Shuswap have been the subject of much debate on social media. There is the argument that Albertans pay high property taxes on their B.C. residences, and they should be allowed to choose where they wish to isolate, however contrary that may be to the recommendation we avoid travel.

So, prior to the Easter long weekend, provincial and local authorities got specific.

“Let us be clear: Staying home means no travelling – especially across our borders,” commented B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro in a joint statement issued on April 9. “Instead, we encourage everyone to find ways to connect virtually this long weekend, including by video chat or with phone calls.”

Read more: Yukon agents placed at B.C. and N.W.T. boundaries to limit spread of COVID-19

Read more: Not the time for vacation: Shuswap trucker discouraged to see B.C.-bound Alberta travellers

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District echoed the sentiment, calling on everyone to avoid all non-essential travel and remain at their “primary residence” at this time.

What is one’s primary residence? It’s safe to assume this would be what the B.C. government refers to as our principal residence where we pay bills and receive mail; “the residence used in government records for things like income tax, Medical Services Plan, driver’s licence and vehicle registration.”

While there doesn’t appear to be any desire at the provincial level for closing the B.C./Alberta border, perhaps the two provincial governments should consider the direction taken in the Yukon, where enforcement officers are now stationed at highway access points along the territory’s borders. Travellers entering the Yukon are required to provide their contact information, declaration of any COVID-19 symptoms and must self-isolate for 14 days. Travellers passing through the Yukon must do so within 24 hours and with minimal stops.

This may help get the message across that the provinces are taking the COVID-19 crisis seriously and want and need everyone’s support in bringing it to an end as soon as possible.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Alberta

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social justice advocate yells at Kelowna council, demands presence at Black Lives Matter rally

Heather Friesen has again taken to council chambers to make her opinion heard

RDCO closes section of Mission Creek due to high water levels

RDCO urges visitors to respect closure signs posted at these locations until waters recede

Easter Seals shifts to virtual camps due to COVID-19 restrictions

The Lake Country summer camp is for children and adults with disabilities

Kelowna firefighters train for a technical rescue Mission Creek

Four Kelowna Fire Department technical rescue teams were on the water on Monday

Kelowna RCMP investigate early morning fatal collision

The crash was discovered in the 3100-block of Bulman Road in Kelowna around 5:30 a.m. on June 1

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

High water levels on Shuswap Lake may close popular Canoe Beach

Rain forecast could flood entrance tunnel, city staff to evaluate

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Summerland man rescued following ATV accident

Helicopters used to transport injured man to Kelowna for treatment

Vernon videographer captures thunderstorm

See the ‘best bits’ of Saturday’s storm

Dyer: I left my heart in the desert

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Horoscopes for the week of June 1

Weekly horoscopes by Morgan Fava

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Most Read