Working group aims to restore supply chain in BC

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by Emily Atkins

A federal-provincial working group has been formed to help restore the flow of goods through British Columbia. The group worked throughout the weekend.

Several federal departments, government of British Columbia ministries, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the Vancouver International Airport Authority, the B.C. Marine Terminal Operators Association, the B.C. Trucking Association, the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Fuels Association, representatives from British Columbia’s tow boat industry, the Gateway Council of B.C., the B.C. Chamber of Shipping, CN Rail, and CP Rail, among others are taking part.

This working group is a first step in what will be an ongoing effort by all orders of government to ensure that the supply chain is re-established in a way that gets Canadians the goods they need and help mitigate against future incidents.

“The government of Canada is extremely concerned with the flooding situation in British Columbia, and we stand ready to provide support any way we can,” said minister of transport Omar Alghabra.

“The quality of our transportation infrastructure and the efficiency of our trade corridors directly benefit the lives of Canadians. It is important to work together to determine how best to ensure Canada’s gateways stay strong, resilient and safe.”

The group is developing options for contingency transport and logistics for essential goods and materials. As infrastructure gradually reopens, it will prioritize and advise on the best routes and use of limited capacity for the movement of goods across all transportation modes, while balancing community needs and national economic interest.

They will also be considering options for diverting traffic or establishing new logistics chains in the province.

Roads are gradually being reopened. (DriveBC map)

Meanwhile, surface transportation routes are gradually re-opening across the province. Sections of Highway 1 are now open for local and essential travel only. Highway 7 is open for regular travel from Mission to Agassiz, and from Agassiz to Hope for essential travel. Highway 99 is also open between Pemberton and Lillooet for essential travel.

Essential travel under B.C.’s state of emergency includes commercial transport.

“The B.C. government will work with all stakeholders to reopen our essential transportation corridors as quickly as possible. We appreciate and value the support of the federal government as we secure supply chains to make sure people have the products they need,” said Rob Fleming, B.C. minister of transportation and infrastructure.

Both the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia commend those working in truly difficult or hazardous circumstances who are evacuating people, saving lives, and restoring Canada’s transportation network in a timely fashion.