The province is looking for input from British Columbians in order to modernize its emergency management legislation.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the Emergency Program Act needs modernization after lessons learned from recent floods in Grand Forks and successive record-setting wildfire seasons in the province’s Interior.
The act is B.C.’s primary law governing disaster risk management and outlines the roles and responsibilities for provincial and local governments in preparing, responding and recovering from emergencies.
It also includes the conditions under which governments can declare a state of emergency.
According to Farnworth, the province is now looking to source emergency expertise from the public to ensure the legislation aligns with B.C.’s needs for future emergencies such as wildfires.
“We want to draw upon the knowledge that exists so our legislation reflects what communities need to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies,” Farnworth said in a press release.
To gather input on proposed legislative changes, the province is releasing a discussion paper for comment, outlining the proposed direction for emergency management.
Individuals or organizations interested in providing feedback can do so until Jan. 31, 2020.
“It’s important that we continue to work together to learn from prior emergency events and incorporate those lessons to make all British Columbians more resilient in the face of disaster,” Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness, said in the release.
With files from The Canadian Press