Victoria, BC — The B.C. provincial government announced new measures to support its response to COVID-19, including the establishment of a new supply chain coordination unit that will oversee the distribution of good and services.
Using the extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act, Mike Farnsworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General issued 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 include:
Supply chain: Establishing a new Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit to co-ordinate goods and services distribution; taking a more active role in co-ordinating essential goods and services movement by land, air, marine and rail; and suspending any bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day.
Protecting consumers: Banning the secondary resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning and other essential supplies; and restricting quantities of items purchased at point of sale.
Enforcement: Enabling municipal bylaw officers to support enforcement of the provincial health officer’s orders for business closures and gatherings, in line with offences under the Public Health Act.
“B.C. is in a strong position to effectively respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Farnworth. “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.”
Farnworth added, “Many local governments, First Nations and partners have stepped up to make sure they have prepared to protect their communities from the impacts of COVID-19. Today’s measures will make sure communities are taking necessary steps, in co-ordination with the Province, to get ready should more action be required to combat COVID-19.”