VICTORIA, B.C. – British Columbia has established the power to take control of the supply chain through the Emergency Program Act, as it looks to maintain essential goods and services during the fight against Covid-19.
A new Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit would coordinate the distribution of goods and services “in partnership with industry”. The province would also take a more active role in coordinating the moves of essential goods and services by land, air, marine and rail. All air services to transport essential goods, services or personnel will be managed through a Coordinated Provincial Air Service.
Bylaws that restrict the delivery of goods to a particular time of day are also suspended.
Details of how that partnership with industry would work were not revealed at the time of the announcement.
The province could also identify and take control of warehouses and other facilities to gather supplies and resources if needed.
“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.”
The secondary resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, and cleaning supplies is banned, while quantities of other items will be restricted at the point of sale.
B.C. declared a provincial state of emergency on March 18, after the provincial health officer declared a public health emergency on March 17.
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