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Politicians, media return to hallway habits at B.C. legislature after COVID-19 rules

Media back in the building providing a hallway gauntlet and looking for stories
Premier John Horgan answers questions during a news conference in the press theatre at the legislature in Victoria, Friday, March 11, 2022. Politicians and media members met each other face-to-face at the British Columbia legislature after more than two years of COVID-19 protocols that had limited interactions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Politicians and members of the media met each other face-to-face for the first time at the British Columbia legislature after more than two years of restrictions due to COVID-19 protocols.

Premier John Horgan greeted what he called a media “gauntlet” Monday as he passed by reporters in a legislature hallway on his way to a government caucus meeting.

Horgan stopped briefly to say the experience of seeing media in the hallways wanting to ask questions after the pandemic restrictions was “weird.”

The premier did not stay for an interview, but later, while in the chamber of the legislature, he jokingly warned other politicians that the media was back in the building looking for stories.

The B.C. legislature has been sitting throughout the pandemic, but most media events and news conferences have been conducted virtually since March 2020.

Attorney General David Eby, who did stop and answer reporters’ questions, says meeting with media in the legislature hallways gave him a feeling that a major part of democracy was making a welcome return.

“It feels good,” says Eby. “It feels very democratic. I feel more accessible and I feel like the media has the ability to ask the questions they need to. I like it.”

—The Canadian Press

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