Panic buying kicks in as gas rationing begins on B.C. south coast
Long lines and empty shelves are greeting some British Columbians trying to buy groceries and gas.
Within hours of Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announcing an order limiting non-essential vehicles to 30 litres of gas per trip to the gas station, social media posts started to appear showing gas stations packed with cars and people not adhering to the 30-litre limit.
“Not convinced the gas rationing is going well — on the pump before me, the person bought 44 litres,” wrote Twitter user Brianne Melnyk.
In a news conference Saturday morning, Farnworth acknowledged that while not everyone would adhere to the new rule, he was convinced that “the overwhelming majority” of British Columbians would do the right thing.
The order, which runs from Nov. 19 until Dec. 1, 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. Violations are subject to a $2,000 fine.
Essential vehicles will have unrestricted access to fuel, mainly through commercial trucking stations that use the cardlock system.
Farnworth noted that gas station operators were working to implement a 30-litre cap at filling stations in order to aid enforcement.