B.C. rations gasoline in southwestern B.C.
With flooding and mudslides severing highways and disrupting supply chains, B.C. took the extraordinary step Friday of imposing gasoline rationing in southwestern B.C.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said the province is facing a “reduced, but steady” supply of gasoline due to damaged roads and the closed Trans Mountain pipeline and warned of delays and temporary shortages at the pump as the government works to bring in more fuel through new routes.
Farnworth announced two orders under the Emergency Program Act.
The first limits gasoline purchases to 30 litres per visit to a gas station. The restriction, effective immediately, will be in place until Dec. 1 and affects drivers in the Lower Mainland — including Hope, the Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver, Sea-to-Sky region, the Sunshine Coast — and Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands.
“This will help address the supply chain disruptions which we have been experiencing,” Farnworth said at a news conference. “There will be temporary shortages, but we are taking this important step to maintain our supply of gasoline.”
Under the order, gas retailers will be required to ensure remaining reserves last until Dec. 1. Retailers and distributors are also prohibited from price-gouging.
When asked how close B.C. is to running out of gasoline, Farnworth did not respond directly but said the measures are in place to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“This order is being put in place so we are able to make sure we’ve got enough fuel over the next 10 to 11 days,” he told reporters.
He said the province is working to bring in more fuel by truck and barge from Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California.
There will be no police at gas stations enforcing the order, said Farnworth, but he expressed confidence the vast majority of British Columbians will respect the 30-litre limit, which he stressed is temporary.