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Horgan: increase in COVID cases not because of election

The BC NDP leader reassured voters on Thursday that voting on Saturday is safe
BC NDP leader John Horgan
BC NDP leader John Horgan

Weddings, funerals and social gatherings – not the province's general election – are behind B.C.'s second wave of COVID-19, said BC NDP leader John Horgan.

"I'm confident British Columbians should be safe, confident and secure going to vote," Horgan said on Thursday.

The comment follows B.C.'s highest single-day increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the province's first outbreak in a school.

When asked about remarks from BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau that holding the election during the pandemic is dangerous, Horgan disagreed.

"I disagree with Sonia," he told reporters after the final virtual event of his campaign. "I'm absolutely prepared to take criticism from any corner. I'll take advice from public health officials."

More than 12,000 cases of the coronavirus have been detected in B.C. since late January. On Wednesday, 203 new cases were reported within 24 hours.

Horgan says he believes allowing British Columbians to decide to wear a mask, rather than mandating masks, remains "the best way forward."

Mandating masks on BC Ferries or public transit, or within companies, is "appropriate," he believes.


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