As rescue and relief efforts intensify in areas hardest hit by floods and mudslides, the B.C. government has issued two new orders under the state of emergency qu ‘he said on Wednesday.
The first measure announced by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth was that the province will prioritize access to gasoline on Vancouver Island, southwestern British Columbia and the Sunshine Coast. .
Under the new ordinance, which will last for the next 10-11 days, emergency vehicles and essential vehicles will have unlimited access to gasoline at pumps in these locations. Non-essential vehicles, including the general public, will be limited to 30 liters per visit, Farnworth said.
“There will be shortages, but we are taking this important step to maintain our gasoline supply,” Farnworth said.
Under the order, Farnworth notes that gas stations will be required to guarantee that their gasoline reserves last until December 1, 2021.
Farnworth acknowledges there will be delays at gas stations over the next 11 days and calls on British Columbians to be patient and allow extra time on each visit.
“When our province is faced with an emergency, British Columbians step up,” said Farnworth. “We have a constant supply of gas to support all of our essential vehicles and we will overcome these restrictions together by staying calm, buying only what we need and caring about each other. These measures are needed during temporary shortages as work is underway to restore British Columbia’s fuel supply.
The province also suggests that, although supplies are limited, people are considering alternative forms of transportation such as public transit or carpooling.
Also under the ordinance, retail gas stations and wholesale distributors will be prohibited from price increases on the profit margin, and people will be prohibited from purchasing gasoline for the purpose of selling gasoline. resell.
This action comes as the province works to restore roads and restore fuel flow through the Transmountain pipeline which has been decommissioned due to recent weather events.
This ordinance will not affect natural gas or fuel oil used to heat homes, the government notes.
The second decree issued by the government prohibits non-essential travel on highways which have been severely affected by recent weather conditions.
This includes sections of Highway 99, Highway 3, and Highway 7, none of which is located on Vancouver Island.
“There are circumstances where movement is essential and authorized, particularly for the movement of any merchandise necessary for the health, safety and well-being of British Columbians,” notes the province, suggesting that once there is backlog of essential traffic eliminated, restrictions can be alleviated.
Farnworth told a live press conference that the new orders are meant to help keep commercial traffic moving, stabilize supply chains and ensure everyone gets home safe.
These measures are enacted as part of the provincial state of emergency declared by Premier John Horgan earlier this week.
Below are specific details for each highway with non-essential travel restrictions in British Columbia:
- Highway 99: From the junction of Highway 99 and Lillooet River Road to the access to the BC Hydro Seton Lake campground in Lillooet. Only passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles weighing up to 14,500 kilograms will be permitted.
- Highway 3: From the junction of Highway 5 and Highway 3 at Hope to the west entrance of Princeton from Highway 3.
- Highway 7: From the junction of route 7 and route 9 in Agassiz to the junction of route 7 and route 1 in Hope.