An online petition has been launched urging the province to extend the winter break by two weeks, as students prepare to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (Black Press Media files)

An online petition has been launched urging the province to extend the winter break by two weeks, as students prepare to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (Black Press Media files)

COVID-19: Petition calls on B.C. to extend students’ winter break

Students are set to return to classrooms Monday, Jan. 4

Students in B.C. are set to return to school on Monday, but some are calling for the return date to be pushed back out of continued concern over COVID-19.

An online petition to extend the winter break by two weeks has been circulating online since Dec. 28, garnering more than 2,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon (Dec. 31).

The petition, addressed to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix, cites a “massive uptick” of cases in the past month.

According to B.C.’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been roughly 17,600 cases reported in the province in December. However, there has been some noticeable diminishment in daily case totals over the course of this month, with 829 on Dec. 1 as the high point compared to 358 on Dec. 28.

READ MORE: ‘If not now, then when?’ COVID-19 spurs some Canadians to make big changes

On Wednesday Henry and Dix made an unexpected ban on liquor sales after 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, expiring at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1. Prior to the announcement, the cutoff for sales in restaurants was 10 p.m.

Earlier this month the head of the B.C. teachers’ union said they weren’t consulted about the decision to keep students in schools until the traditional winter break, rather than extend it as some other provinces have.

“We ask that Dr. Bonnie Henry extend the winter break for all B.C. students and make a new plan on how to safely return to school,” reads the petition.

For signee Sarina Prasad, an extension of the winter break is a much-needed preventative measure.

“Two weeks may actually make a difference in bringing down the curve. What have we got to lose,” she said.

Henry and Dix have said earlier this month they weren’t planning to extend the break.

— with files from Katya Slepian

READ MORE: Horgan urges B.C. to celebrate end of 2020 safely in last statement of the year


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

CoronavirusSchools

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

Just Posted

”It was an angry welcome for Cowichan-Ladysmith MLA Jan Pullinger when she arrived in Lake Cowichan Monday to open her constituency office. She was greeted with some of her long time supporters calling her a ‘liar’. Left to right, Jan Pullinger, Director of Area I, Lois Gage, school trustee Rolli Gunderson, school trustee Pat Weaver, Save our School Committee Chairperson, Tara Daly.” (Lake News/April 17,1996)
Flashback: Garbage, geography and tragedy

Remember these stories from Lake Cowichan?

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Parking permits for people with disabilities

These permits are issued to the person, not the vehicle owner or driver.

Dr. Bernhardt’s freshly planted strawberries. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Hoping for a bumper crop of strawberries

Because our new plot gets a lot of sun, maybe strawberries won’t become consumed by wood bugs

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Newton’s first law of motion

I could have sworn I told them to help each other get unbuckled and to come inside.

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read