Overview of Local Government EPA Feedback

UBCM has produced a broad overview of local government feedback expressed as part of the ongoing Emergency Program Act review. This document has been forwarded to Emergency Management BC (EMBC) for consideration as the Province contemplates significant changes to its emergency management legislation.

The local government feedback under consideration was provided in response to EMBC’s discussion paper, Modernizing BC’s Emergency Management Legislation. In addition to UBCM’s overview document, EMBC will also be developing a summary of feedback received from all stakeholders (including local governments).

Based on analysis of 43 submissions provided by local governments and associated organizations, UBCM has submitted the following recommendations for consideration by the provincial government in advance of tabling new emergency management legislation:

  • That EMBC develop an ongoing sustainable funding framework for local governments to address emergency management responsibilities;
  • That EMBC confirm adequate provincial support services for local governments, to address emergency management capacity issues;
  • That EMBC provide local governments with clarity around key terms and policy shifts contained in its discussion paper; and,
  • That EMBC continue to consult local governments, including UBCM’s Flood and Wildfire Advisory Committee, to address local government concerns (including technical issues and changes to draft legislation).

UBCM and the Flood and Wildfire Advisory Committee will continue to engage with EMBC during the EPA review process.

Background

The Emergency Program Act (EPA) “provides the legislative framework for the management of disasters and emergencies in British Columbia.” It outlines the responsibilities of local governments, provincial authorities and crown corporations and the Province’s emergency management program.

First introduced in 1993, the EPA has undergone minimal change since that time. The provincial government began a review in 2016, but it was eventually discontinued.

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