British Columbia has issued a series of emergency orders that directly impact the retail industry. All retail businesses that were able to be open prior to the order and can maintain the social distancing requirements are able to remain open.
All local emergency orders are suspended (with the exception of the City of Vancouver), so as to allow for a harmonized emergency response and recovery coordination. The City of Vancouver must seek leave from the province to issue new orders under its state of emergency.
British Columbia has provided an extensive list of which goods and services are considered essential. Retail included on the list of essential goods and services are: grocery stores; pharmacies; convenience stores, farmers markets and other establishments engaged in the retail sale or provision of food, pet or livestock supply; liquor; cannabis (including producers); cleaning and personal care products; home supply, hardware, building materials, garden centres and nurseries. The province has clarified that it includes individual stores that sell both food and other non-food products.
Any business or service that has not been ordered to close, and, is also not identified on the essential service list, may stay open if it can adapt its services and workplace to the orders and recommendations of the PHO. See more information.
All local bylaws that restrict goods delivery at any time of day have been suspended.
A new Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit was established to coordinate goods and services distribution. The order allows the Province to identify and take control of warehouses and other facilities for gathering supplies and resources if required.
The secondary resale of food, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, cleaning and other essential supplies is banned; and the order allows the Province to limit quantities of some items purchased at point of sale. The Province will work with retailers and industry to identify those items.
If directed by the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, all suppliers, distributors and retailers within the Province, and, the relevant trade associations must take coordinated measures to ensure the effective delivery of essential goods and supplies throughout the Province, including such food, fuel, medicine and other goods and supplies as may be prioritized by the minister.
For further information, please contact Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at email@example.com and (604) 730-5254, or Avery Bruenjes, Policy Analyst, Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org and (604) 730-5251.