UBCM Analysis of EPA Review Feedback

UBCM has completed an analysis of feedback provided by local government in response to the provincial discussion paper on the legislative framework for emergency management in B.C. The discussion paper is part of the Province‚Äôs first full scale reviewof the Emergency Program Act (EPA) since its inception in 1993.

A letter from UBCM President Murry Krause to Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto briefly outlined the UBCM submission, and requested the Minister review the issues and concerns raised by the 49 local authority respondents. UBCM also made three broad recommendations, based on local authority input, for consideration by Emergency Management BC (EMBC) as the process to amend the Emergency Program Act continues:

  • The need for further consultation in the process to renew Act(including an ability to see draft legislation);
  • Local authority difficulty in assuming greater responsibility, in some cases even if corresponding funding were to be provided; and
  • A desire to maintain the current level of local government authority (legislative or otherwise), and caution regarding proposals that infringe on that authority.

Although the majority of respondents agreed with most of the provincial proposals for change, many opposed providing the Minister in charge of the Act with the authority to require a local authority to change its local emergency plan. There was also considerable opposition to adding authority for police to apprehend individuals who refuse to comply with evacuation orders issued under a declared state of emergency.

Next steps in the review process are currently being determined by EMBC.

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