Highlights of the British Columbia’s government’s emergency pandemic response

VICTORIA - The B.C. government stepped up its efforts under the Emergency Program Act on Thursday to ensure, among other things, that goods and services are getting to those who need them. Here’s a look at what is happening:

— A new government unit will co-ordinate the distribution of goods and services, while bylaws that restrict the delivery of goods to certain times of the day are being suspended.

— The province is going after the black market, banning the resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment and cleaning products.

— Municipal bylaw officers will enforce business closures and the size of gatherings to the limits that have been instituted by the provincial health officer.

— All passenger and car-ferry services are guaranteed to provide minimum service levels and priority access for residents, as well as essential goods and workers.

— Local states of emergency on the COVID-19 pandemic are being suspended, except for Vancouver, to give municipal councils the ability to hold more flexible meetings to expedite decisions.

— By suspending local states of emergencies, the province says it allows for the co-ordination needed to potentially use local publicly owned facilities — such as community centres — for self-isolation, testing, medical care, warehousing and distribution.
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