Resale of food, medical equipment, cleaning supplies outlawed

Food resale outlawed

The provincial government has outlawed the resale of food, medical equipment and cleaning supplies in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to a series of other measures. 

Premier John Horgan and Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth made the announcement Thursday morning. 

The province says it is empowering municipal bylaw officers with the authority to enforce Dr. Bonnie Henry’s orders, including those around social distancing and the closure of businesses. 

Retailers and suppliers will now be required to report inventory levels of essential goods to a new centralized provincial supply chain unit that will aim to keep medical and cleaning equipment flowing to healthcare professionals. Purchase quantities will also be restricted at the point of sale.

Any municipal bylaws that restrict the delivery of goods at any time of day have been repealed, as have all municipal states of emergency with the exception of the City of Vancouver. Farnworth explained the step was taken to ensure a uniform response to the crisis across the province. 

”We are at a critical juncture, and we need to ask ourselves if we are doing our part and following the orders of Dr. Bonnie Henry,” Farnworth said. “And it has become clear that these additional steps are necessary... Dr. Henry’s orders are not suggestions or good advice; they are the law.”

He said those disobeying Dr. Henry's orders could face fines or jail time.

Local governments have also been ordered to identify facilities that could be used to fight the pandemic by using them for self-isolation, testing, medical care, warehousing and distribution.

The province has also said it now has the authority to order a hotel to provide accommodation “for the purposes of self-isolation, supporting essential workforces or for other purposes identified by the province.”

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