The referendum on a performing arts centre for Kamloops has been postponed, the provincial government announced tonight (Wednesday, March 18, 2020).
The announcement came at 7:45 p.m. from Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson. The vote had been scheduled for April 4; a new date will be decided later.
Robinson, who also postponed by-elections in Victoria, Rossland and Lytton, said the decision was made in order to protect residents from the current threat of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“This action, requested by both public health officials and local government members, will help ensure residents are not required to gather in polling stations and will free up local government resources to focus on dealing with the impact of COVID-19,” a press release from her ministry said.
“I know that local governments are working hard to keep their communities safe and protected during this pandemic,” Robinson said. “Our government is working closely with our partners to help marshal all resources to protect those most vulnerable and ‘flattening the curve’ of the spread of COVID-19.
“After consulting with our public health officials and local governments, I have signed a ministerial order postponing byelections and referendums in these communities so they can focus on protecting their residents.”
Victoria and Rossland had byelections set for April 4, and Lytton had a byelection set for April 25.
Decisions to reschedule the byelections and referendum will be made by local governments in conjunction with public health officials and Elections BC.
“Meanwhile, the ministry will continue to work with local governments that are considering byelections or referendums to ensure plans take into consideration the need to protect community residents during this emergency situation.”