British Columbia issues orders to ration gasoline and restrict movement as road repairs continue
The British Columbia government has issued new orders rationing the province’s limited gasoline supply and restricting travel on several highways affected by the storm.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the new measures are needed to keep “essential people, goods and services” flowing as the province continues to deal with flooding, mudslides and other impacts of this week’s historic weather event.
“This will help address the supply chain disruptions we have experienced,” Farnworth said on Friday. “There will be temporary shortages, but we are taking this important step to maintain our gasoline supply. “
The orders, effective immediately, limit the amount of fuel available for purchase by the general public in the southwestern part of the province, including the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sea Corridor. to Sky and the Sunshine Coast.
Drivers can buy a maximum of 30 liters per visit at gas stations in these areas, Farnworth said.
“Emergency and essential vehicles will have unlimited access to gas, as needed, using primarily commercial card lock stations,” the minister added. “Healthcare vehicles will continue to have access to fuel as they always do.”
The ordinance, which should remain in force until December 1, also provides for fines for anyone caught in the act of “abuse, threat or belligerence” against service station employees, according to the Ministry of Health. Public security.
The intense storm that hit Sunday and continued through Monday forced the closure of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, which carries about 300,000 barrels of oil to the West Ridge marine terminal per day.
Landslides, floods and washouts have also affected all major roads connecting the Lower Mainland to the rest of the province and the country.
Farnworth said British Columbia was working with the federal government to bring more fuel to the province “in new ways,” including by truck and barge from as far away as California.
“I urge British Columbians to be kind and patient at gas stations. Everyone is doing their best,” added the Minister.
The list of essential and emergency vehicles exempt from the rationing order is long, ranging from fire trucks to grocery delivery vehicles to school buses.
While gasoline supplies remain limited, Farnworth urged drivers to use public transport as much as possible to help prevent a serious shortage.
The government has also put in place a travel restriction intended to reserve limited space on partially reopened highways for essential purposes, such as transporting food, water and livestock.
Since Friday, non-essential travel is prohibited on the following routes:
- Highway 99 from Lillooet River Road Junction to BC Hydro Seton Lake Campground
- Highway 3 from the junction of Highway 5 at Hope to the west entrance of Princeton
- Highway 7 from the junction of route 9 in Agassiz to the junction of route 1 in Hope
Other uses deemed essential include medical evacuations and urgent medical treatment, the transportation of essential personnel, the exercise of an Aboriginal or treaty right recognized under the Constitution Act, and the “return to peace.” principal residence of a person ”.
The latter will be good news for the many British Columbians and visitors from outside the province who found themselves stranded hundreds of kilometers from their homes by the storm.
This is a developing story and will be updated.