The City of Delta is bringing the issue of accessibility and inclusion at Delta gas stations directly to the corporations responsible.
At its Monday Nov. 9th meeting, council voted to send letters from the mayor’s office to companies representing various gas stations in Delta. The letter will ask the companies to make improvements to full service refueling accessibility for residents with mobility issues.
The issue of self-service and full-service gas stations is part of a larger history of bylaws in the Lower Mainland. A report made to council in late October detailed some of this history, documenting that in 2014 a zoning bylaw was changed to eliminate reference to self-serve pumps because a survey found many Delta gas stations were not operating within the bylaw’s definitions for types of service provided.
Since full serve fuelling services are considered a business decision, and Delta does not regulate business practices, the city removed the requirement. As bylaws don’t operate retroactively, if the bylaw were to be amended to require full service at gas stations, the new requirements would only apply to new or rebuilt gas stations.
“It is a corporate social responsibility issue for them to be aware of the implications of their franchises and how they're being considered in the community," said Coun. Jeannie Kanakos.
Mayor George Harvie chimed in remarking on his own experience filling up his car at gas stations around Delta saying the stations need to do a better job of having the number to call for assistance clearly presented.
While signs may be few, the report found most major companies have policies to accommodate people with mobility issues. Some stations have intercom systems at the pumps which customers can request assistance through. There are also online resources like Google maps and Esso Fuel Finder which can locate stations with full service.
The motion to send the letters was passed unanimously by council with the added recommendation that the letters also be sent to MP Carla Qualtrough and MLAs Ian Paton and Ravi Kahlon.
Out of 20 gas stations in Delta there are currently nine that provide full service at the pumps.