Proposed Changes to Fire Services Act Would Download New Costs to RDs

A resolution endorsed during Wednesday’s session draws attention to the potential cost and capacity impacts to regional districts that will result if proposed changes to the Fire Services Act move forward. The changes under consideration would require regional districts to enforce the Fire Services Act in unincorporated areas, adding significantly to local government costs to deliver this service.

Resolution A3: Provincial Responsibility for Fire Services Act and Regulations requests that the province provide the necessary resources to inspect and enforce provincial safety regulations including the Fire Services Act rather than pursuing options to download the responsibility for inspections and enforcement of provincial regulations on local governments.

Chair Al Richmond, UBCM First Vice-President said, “While our members are supportive of the need to amend the Fire Services Act to close the gap to ensure that the same level of protection is provided in all areas of the province, our concerns are with the process which the province is proposing which will download the inspection and enforcement requirements to local governments.”

The resolution, submitted by Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association, was also supported by six similar resolutions from Bulkley-Nechako Regional District, East Kootenay Regional District, Thompson-Nicola Regional District, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Comox Valley Regional District and Cariboo Regional District.

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