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BCGEU members play critical role in province’s new pandemic enforcement measures

August 21, 2020

BCGEU members play critical role in province's new pandemic enforcement measures

Once again, members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) are playing a critical role in the province's response to COVID-19.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced this morning that compliance and enforcement staff from provincial ministries have been enlisted to support enforcement of public health orders for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"These BCGEU members are highly-trained peace officers and special constables and are ready to step up to support public health officials during a state of emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "They are critical to our province's public health and safety, just as other BCGEU members have been throughout this pandemic."

Many BCGEU members work in fields with special constable designations, including liquor, cannabis and gaming inspectors; community safety unit inspectors; and conservation officers. They will fill a critical role alongside police and other enforcement officers.

This is not the first time during the pandemic that BCGEU members have been redeployed to support and enforce public health orders. Conservation officers have been tasked with ensuring motorists entering the province are following B.C.'s prevention measures, and hundreds of public service employees heeded the province's call to screen travellers at YVR and major land border crossings and ensure self-isolation plans were completed.

"I echo Minister Farnworth's comments that it's extremely disappointing we even need to contemplate enforcement of public health orders. People should be following the rules and I hope they do. But while they're not, I'm glad we can count on BCGEU members to step up and do what is needed," said President Smith.

The BCGEU is one of the largest, most diverse and fastest growing unions in B.C. with more than 80,000 members working in almost every community and economic sector in the province.

For more information please contact, BCGEU Communications, [email protected]