Emergency Services

Bulletin [PDF - 241 KB]: Amendments to Provincial Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management Guidelines (Sections 3.5 and 3.6) – Oct 2017

Review Process

In January 2016, the Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness released "Prepared and Resilient: A Discussion Paper on the Legislative Framework for Emergency Management in British Columbia," outlining challenges presented by the current legislation as well as proposing policy changes and improvements. The discussion paper reflects the changes in emergency management policy across Canada, and incorporates recommendations from earthquake preparedness reports prepared by the provincial Auditor General and by Henry Renteria.

Local governments were invited to submit a formal response to the "Prepared and Resilient" discussion paper.

Stakeholder feedback, including feedback from local governments, may be viewed online:


UBCM has summarized local authority feedback, and has provided several overarching recommendations, as part of its submission on behalf of local governments.

UBCM Submission to Emergency Management BC [PDF - 1.2 MB] – Nov 2016

In fall 2016, UBCM learned that many of the recommendations made by UBCM were similar to those made by the Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness in her report to the Cabinet Committee on a Secure Tomorrow. In particular, Emergency Management BC has recommended further communication with UBCM as the process to update the Emergency Program Act continues. It is unclear when the Province will begin the next phase in this initiative, although the Province has indicated that the next phase will involve direct consultation with UBCM and local governments.

Emergency Program Act

The Emergency Program Act, introduced in 1993, forms the legislative framework for the management of disasters and emergencies in British Columbia. With minimal change since its introduction, the Act outlines the responsibilities of local governments, provincial authorities and crown corporations and the Province’s emergency management program. In particular, the Act assigns authority to declare a state of emergency, and requires local governments, provincial ministries and agencies, and crown corporations to develop emergency management plans and programs to respond to disasters, emergencies and catastrophes.


Province to UBCM re: Local Government Input to the Emergency Program Act Review [PDF - 510 KB] – Jan 2017
UBCM to Province re: Submission to Emergency Program Act Review [PDF - 1.2 MB] – Nov 2016
UBCM to Province re: Emergency Program Act Review [PDF - 93 KB] – Jan 2016
Province to UBCM re: Emergency Program Act Review [PDF - 437 KB] – Jan 2016


UBCM Analysis of EPA Review Feedback, The Compass – Nov 2016
Deadline Extended for Emergency Program Act Input, The Compass – Feb 2016
Extension Provided for Emergency Program Act Review, BC Gov News – Feb 2016
Emergency Program Act Review Underway, The Compass – Jan 2016


Bhar Sihota
Policy Analyst
604 270 8226 ext. 114

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