Politics

B.C. declares state of emergency amid record-breaking floods

The B.C. government has declared a state of emergency connected to flooding across the province.

The declaration gives the province various powers from stopping hoarding to restricting travel in and out of flood zones.

“The order will preserve basic access to supplies across the province. We will bring in transit restrictions to ensure services get to communities that need them,” B.C. Premier John Horgan said.

“Please do not hoard items.”


Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: What the state of emergency means for the province'







B.C. floods: What the state of emergency means for the province


B.C. floods: What the state of emergency means for the province

Under the law, the state of emergency provides the government wide-sweeping powers over resources, travel and food chain protection.

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The province has already had provincial states of emergency in place this year connected to COVID-19 and wildfires in the summer.

The emergency act gives the province the ability to acquire or use any land or personal property considered necessary to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency or disaster.

It also provides the ability to authorize or require any person to render assistance of a type that the person is qualified to provide, meaning the government can break contracts to secure necessary workers.

With highways expected to re-open at minimal capacity, the emergency act gives the province the power to control or prohibit travel to or from any area of British Columbia.


Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Fire and water threatens Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford'







B.C. floods: Fire and water threatens Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford


B.C. floods: Fire and water threatens Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford

In order to grapple with ongoing hoarding in some areas, the state of emergency would give the province the ability to restore essential facilities and allow the distribution of essential supplies.

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The province will also be able to procure, fix prices for, or ration food, clothing, fuel, equipment, medical supplies or other essential supplies and the use of any property, services, resources, or equipment within any part of the province.

If there are ongoing evacuations, the province will be able to cause the evacuation of persons and the removal of livestock, animals and personal property from any area of British Columbia that is or may be affected by an emergency or a disaster.

The province will then make arrangements for the adequate care and protection of those persons, livestock, animals and personal property. The order will authorize the entry into any building or on any land, without a warrant, by any person in the course of implementing an emergency plan.


Click to play video: 'B.C. floods: Farmers rescue cattle in Abbotsford flooding waters'







B.C. floods: Farmers rescue cattle in Abbotsford flooding waters


B.C. floods: Farmers rescue cattle in Abbotsford flooding waters

Read more:
First Nations leaders call on B.C. to declare indefinite state of emergency

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The federal government has been providing resources needed by British Columbia to deal with the ongoing situation.

On Tuesday night, they formally requested federal assistance at Sumas prairie and to support the flooding situation in general.

This includes Canadian Armed Forces ground and air support. Ottawa has agreed to provide the support.


Click to play video: 'Trudeau says he’s ‘extremely concerned’ about flooding situation in B.C.'







Trudeau says he’s ‘extremely concerned’ about flooding situation in B.C.


Trudeau says he’s ‘extremely concerned’ about flooding situation in B.C.

“I want people to know, first of all, that the federal government has been engaging with the local authorities, with the province, I spoke with the premier, spoke with a number of mayors last night to talk about, how people are doing in this terrifically bad situation,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

“We’re also working with them on saving people, on sending resources like our forces to support our people in this situation. But also we’ll be there for the cleanup and the rebuilding after and after these extreme weather events. It’s really going be important Canadians continue to do what we do, which is being there for each other in this difficult situation.”




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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