New legislation will help maintain access to critical services that British Columbians rely on and protect those who provide those services, as the Province moves to prevent disruptive behaviour from affecting schools and health-care facilities.
The proposed legislation will protect hospitals, COVID-19 test and vaccination centres, and K-12 schools by establishing 20-metre (66 feet) access zones around them.
Within an access zone, it will be an offence to impede access to the facility, disrupt services or act in a way that could reasonably be expected to cause service users or providers concern for their physical or mental safety.
The act will give police the power to arrest or issue tickets to anyone impeding access to a facility, disrupting services or intimidating or attempting to intimidate an individual within access zones.
In addition, courts will be able to issue an injunction to prevent people from contravening the act. The act will not apply to lawful job action in access zones, as determined by the Labour Relations Board.
The act will continue to provide protection until July 1, 2023, though it may be repealed earlier if it is no longer required.