VICTORIA – The British Columbia government is using extraordinary powers under a state of provincial emergency to keep British Columbians safe, maintain essential goods and services, and support the province’s ongoing response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
A new, Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit will co-ordinate goods and services distribution in partnership with industry.
The province will take a more active role in co-ordinating essential goods and services movement by land, air, marine and rail. All air services required to transport essential goods, services or personnel shall be managed through establishing of a coordinated provincial Air Service.
Any bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day are suspended.
The Province will identify and take control of warehouses and other facilities for gathering supplies and resources if required.
“B.C. is in a strong position to effectively respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“Informed by the direction of the provincial health officer, we’re taking these critical steps to keep our communities safe, goods moving and essential service workers supported.”
Using the extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act, the minister is issuing a series of ministerial orders to ensure a co-ordinated response to COVID-19 across all levels of government for the duration of the provincial emergency.
These powers, issued by ministerial order, include the means to secure critical supply chains, ensure people have access to essential goods and services to keep society running, and make sure critical infrastructure and materials are readily available to support COVID-19 response and public safety orders are enforced.
Ministerial orders using the extraordinary powers of the EPA support a government-wide approach to COVID-19 response and recovery throughout the state of emergency, and are guided by the Pandemic Provincial Coordination Plan.