BC’s provincial government has announced it will begin restricting gas to drivers.
The announcement was made Friday afternoon by Emergency Management BC and Secretary of State and Attorney General Mike Farnworth.
“Due to weather-related impacts on the Trans Mountain pipeline and road damage, there is a reduced but constant supply of gasoline,” says Farnworth.
The order enters into force immediately and will remain in place until December 1, 2021. It will apply to lower Mainland fuel suppliers to the Hope region, Sea to Sky region, Sunshine Coast, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.
Unnecessary vehicles, including the general public, will be limited to 30 liters per day. trip to retail gas stations. Essential vehicles will, however, have unlimited access to fuel – these vehicles will use “predominantly commercial truck filling stations”, which use card locks.
This order does not affect natural gas or heating oil used to heat homes. The provincial government adds that “anyone who is violent, threatening or belligerent towards petrol station workers may be subject to a fine under the ordinance.”
The decision comes days after the government declared a provincial state of emergency over the devastating floods and mudslides that took place around BC.
During that time, Farnworth said emergency measures could be used to ban unnecessary travel, hoarding and pricing.
The Trans Mountain pipeline remains closed as parts of BC handle extreme weather, raising concerns about gas shortages.
The pipeline, a critical piece of BC infrastructure, was shut down on Sunday, November 14, and a team is working on restart plans.
The company says an initial assessment of the affected area was made Tuesday by plane.
“Restart plans require ongoing assessments, including geotechnical evaluations of slope stability and analysis on the ground to determine whether work is needed to repair or re-establish protective cover where the pipe has been exposed due to flooding.”
The statement goes on to say, “Trans Mountain is in regular contact with its shippers and is working to mitigate potential impacts of the pipeline that has been shut down on British Colombians.”
Panic buying is becoming a growing concern
Panic buying and hoarding appear to be on the rise and taking place in areas of the lower mainland that are not affected by floods and mudslides.
Originally it affected central BC and the Fraser Valley, and hoarding now appears to be taking place in parts of Metro Vancouver.
For example, Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West spoke earlier this week urging residents to remain calm.
“This is one of those moments where we can demonstrate what kind of people we are and what kind of society we are,” he told the Daily Hive in an interview. “Now is the time to think about others, not just ourselves. There’s no need to hoard and panic.”
Reports of empty store shelves surfaced earlier in the week as flooding and leaching cut off certain BC communities from the lower mainland.
“Grocery stores have been clear that they will be able to maintain their supplies if people maintain their normal purchases,Said Mayor West.