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February 25, 2016

British Columbia: Discussion Document Outlines Proposals to Update Emergency Management Legislation

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Last month the BC government posted online, Prepared and Resilient – A discussion paper on the legislative framework for emergency management in British Columbia. The paper is designed to support stakeholder consultations concerning emergency management legislation in BC, and in particular the future of the province’s Emergency Program Act.

The Emergency Program Act - originally passed in 1993 - is the main piece of legislation for emergency management in BC. The Act and its regulations set out roles and responsibilities for local authorities and the provincial government in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergencies and disasters.

The Act also sets out the authority for local government or the province to declare a state of emergency and to use emergency powers to protect the health, safety, or welfare of people and to limit damage to property.

According to the government the Act and its regulations, which have remained largely unchanged since its introduction, should be reviewed to ensure that it continues to reflect best practices in the field of emergency management which have evolved significantly over the past two decades.

The following three discussion areas are proposed:
1. Modernizing fundamental concepts and structure of the Act:
2. Clarifying roles and responsibilities: and
3. Supporting emergency response and recovery.

BC’s Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness, Naomi Yamamoto, has invited key stakeholders to make formal stakeholder submissions to the Cabinet Committee on Secure Tomorrow on or before March 31, 2016. Stakeholder input may be submitted to:


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