In response to the BC Government’s decision to ration gasoline in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Sunshine Coast, Sea-to-Sky Corridor and Vancouver Island, Fiona Famulak, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement:
“Today’s announcement by the province is alarming and we know it was not taken lightly.
“Public safety should always be our first priority and ensuring the continued operations of our emergency services, health care and education systems, and essential services is extremely important. The inclusion of commercial operators that deliver food, water and medical supplies as well as those required to restore and maintain our infrastructure is absolutely critical.
“I am hopeful that British Columbians remain calm and respectful since fuel will continue to be available for everyone. While there are risks associated with an “honour system” to manage the rationing, we are confident British Columbians will act honourably and respect the limitations.
“With over 3.5 million people across the regions, the economic impacts of this decision will be significant on individuals, families and businesses. We are asking government to be mindful of the tremendous strain this order is going to have on our economy province-wide. Today’s decision is going to result in immediate economic slow down and potentially the temporary stoppage of some businesses until the supply of fuel is no longer restricted.
“As we have learned over the last two years of the pandemic, a functioning economy is absolutely critical to our ability to manage through, and out of, emergencies. Government has been working diligently to identify alternative gasoline sources and we encourage them to redouble their efforts to minimize impacts.
“Over the coming days, we also urge the government to keep the lines of communication open to ensure the public is apprised of changes to the order as quickly as possible. Businesses make decisions about their employees and operations based on the information available; it is incumbent on government to ensure they provide timely, accurate and detailed information in real time.”