At 3:30pm this afternoon, Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth was joined by Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure; Minister of Agriculture, Food & Fisheries; & Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure officials to provide an update on recent flooding events and introduce two new orders.
Using the powers of the Emergency Program Act, Minister Farnworth announced that two new orders will immediately be put in place:
ORDER ONE: brings in a temporary order to ensure fuel remains available for essential vehicles in affected areas of the province.
- This order, effective immediately, until Dec. 1, 2021, 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.
- Under this order, essential vehicles will have unrestricted access to fuel as required, using predominately commercial trucking gas stations (cardlock gas stations). A full list of these essential vehicles is available in the backgrounder.
- Non-essential vehicles, including the general public, will still have access to fuel available through retail gas stations. People will be limited to 30 litres per trip to the gas station.
- The Province will be working with gas retailers and distributors to implement this order to make sure people are not exceeding their allotted limit per trip. As part of this order, gas retailers will be required to ensure remaining gasoline reserves last until Dec. 1, 2021. Anyone who is abusive, threatening or belligerent to gas station workers can be subject to a fine under the order.
ORDER TWO: prohibits non-essential travel along severely affected highways:
- 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 as these highways start to reopen.
It applies to non-essential travel along specific sections of highways between the Lower Mainland and Interior of British Columbia. There are circumstances where travel is essential and permitted, specifically for the movement of any goods that are necessary for the health, safety and well-being of British Columbians. (A full list follows in a backgrounder.) As the backlog of essential traffic clears, restrictions on essential travel can be eased.
The BCHA will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates on how flooding, restrictions on travel, and the disruption to the supply chain will impact accommodators.
Our hearts continue to be with all those impacted by this natural disaster and we encourage you to reach out to our team should you need any support.