Province releases EPA follow-up report

The provincial government has released a summary report of feedback provided in response to its discussion paperModernizing BC’s Emergency Management Legislation. Emergency Management BC’s ‘What We Heard’ report also advises that the Province plans to table new emergency management legislation next year. 

The report summarizes many of the key themes outlined in UBCM’s response to the discussion paper, including the need for local authorities to receive additional resources and provincial support to address new responsibilities proposed by the Province. Last week, these concerns were endorsed by the UBCM membership as part of SR1 – New Emergency Management Legislation

In consideration of responses to the paper, the Province also clarified several of the proposed legislative changes that will directly impact local governments, including its intention to:

  • Introduce a new definition of “Local Authority” that could include a Treaty First Nation, or a group of First Nations and/or local governments that seek to form a unified local authority for emergency management purposes.
  • Enable the Province, at its own discretion, to assume control of an emergency from a local authority, and/or to require a local authority to support an emergency outside its jurisdiction.
  • Not introduce measures authorizing EMBC to audit emergency plans and make them public.
  • Include regulations that require post-disaster needs assessments and post-disaster recovery plans in order to receive long-term recovery funding; short-term funding will not be impacted by these requirements.
  • Require local authorities and First Nations to collaborate and engage on a variety of key emergency management responsibilities (e.g. evacuation alerts, orders and re-entry).

Additionally, EMBC has acknowledged the need to conduct additional work to address many of the remaining issues and questions raised by local governments during the feedback period.

The discussion paper and responses were provided in advance of the COVID-19 emergency, but the Province will be considering lessons learned from the pandemic as it develops new emergency management legislation. 

Any local government comments or concerns regarding the ‘What We Heard’ report may be directed to Bhar Sihota, UBCM Senior Policy Analyst. These comments will be conveyed to EMBC via the Flood and Wildfire Advisory Committee. 

Meta Navigation