The BC Government is taking temporary measures to ensure fuel (gas and diesel) is prioritized for essential vehicles in several regions of the province.
In addition, measures to restrict non-essential travel to and from impacted areas are also being introduced.
“We are asking people to limit their fuel consumption and vehicle travel at this time and are putting in place orders under the provincial state of emergency to support this,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“These steps will keep commercial traffic moving, stabilize our supply chains and make sure everyone gets home safely. We are asking people not to travel through severely affected areas – for their own well-being, but also to make sure the fuel we do have goes toward the services people need in this time of crisis.”
Farnworth issued two new orders including a temporary measure to ensure fuel remains available for essential vehicles in affected areas of the province.
This order, effective immediately, until December 1st, applies to all fuel suppliers in the Lower Mainland-to-Hope region, the Sea-to-Sky region, Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands, and Vancouver Island.
Essential vehicles will have unrestricted access to fuel as required, using predominately commercial trucking gas stations (cardlock gas stations).
Non-essential vehicles, including the general public, will be limited to 30 liters per trip to the gas station.
Gas stations and wholesale distributors will be prohibited from profit-margin price gouging and people will be prohibited from buying gas for the purpose of reselling it.
According to Farnworth, more fuel is coming from barges and trucks via California, Oregon, Washington, and Alberta.
The order does not affect natural gas or heating oil used to heat homes.
Secondly, non-essential travel along severely affected highways is prohibited.
* Highway 99: from the junction of Highway 99 and Lillooet River Road to the BC Hydro Seton Lake Campsite access in Lillooet. Only passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles up to 14,500 kilograms will be permitted.
* Highway 3: from the junction of Highway 5 and Highway 3 in Hope to the west entrance to Princeton from Highway 3.
* Highway 7: from the junction of Highway 7 and Highway 9 in Agassiz to the junction of Highway 7 and Highway 1 in Hope.
This order will be in effect starting today (Friday) as these highways start to reopen.
It applies to non-essential travel along specific sections of highways between the Lower Mainland and the Interior.
~ Story by Brendan Pawliw, Vista Radio Ltd.