The B.C. government and the Haida Nation have joined forces to establish an integrated, collaborative and co-ordinated approach to natural resource compliance and enforcement activities in Haida Gwaii.
The compliance and enforcement delivery model will be implemented on April 2, 2013. It will streamline compliance and enforcement procedures in Haida Gwaii and ensure that the islands' natural resource priorities are fully considered when conducting inspection and enforcement activities. These priorities will be directly managed by a core group of B.C. government compliance and enforcement staff and the Council of Haida Nation.
The new structure recognizes the need to incorporate the interests and priorities of two governments - the Haida Nation and the B.C. government - to address common concerns in Haida Gwaii. Responsibility for enforcing natural resource-related provincial laws and regulations is currently shared amongst several government agencies, including the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
Once the new system is in place, the team will be led by a member of the Conservation Officer Service based in Haida Gwaii. The rest of the team will be made up of natural resource officers from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and a member of the Haida Nation.
The team supervisor will work with senior staff in the two ministries and the Council of Haida Nation to ensure that local interests, sensitivities and cultural values are considered in planning and managing natural resource issues. This new initiative will provide a co-ordinated presence on the landscape, with improved monitoring of cultural values and enhanced stewardship of natural resources and the environment.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -
"Effective compliance and enforcement of natural resource legislation helps ensure that resource development is environmentally sustainable. I welcome the Council of Haida Nation's involvement in this enhanced and comprehensive approach to compliance and enforcement activities in Haida Gwaii. This builds on the shared decision-making model outlined in the Kunst'aa Guu - Kunst'aayah Reconciliation Protocol."
Minister of Environment Terry Lake -
"Last July, I heard directly from local staff and the Haida Nation for the need for an integrated approach to compliance and enforcement activities. The compliance and enforcement delivery model, the first of its kind in British Columbia, brings these talks to fruition. We view it as a more efficient and effective way of handling natural resource compliance and enforcement issues in remote areas of the province."
Peter Lantin, Council of Haida Nation president -
"Compliance and enforcement is key to ensuring that Haida values are embedded into the day-to-day operations of managing the forests and streams. This initiative is another positive step in the implementation of the Kunst'aa Guu - Kunst'aayah Reconciliation Protocol, which shows that two governments can co-exist and get business done."
- Natural Resource Officers are authorized to enforce a broad range of legislation, including the Forest and Range Practices Act, the Forest Act, the Land Act, the Wildfire Act, the Wildlife Act and the Water Act.
- Currently, over 150 natural resource officers are working for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. They conduct over 8,000 inspections annually and provide enforcement appropriate to each situation. This may include administrative hearings, seizure, violation tickets or prosecution under the relevant legislation.
- The British Columbia Conservation Officer Service (COS) is one of the oldest and largest environmental law enforcement programs in the province and is a lead agency for complex and high-risk environmental law enforcement within the natural resource sector. Conservation officers are responsible for enforcing 33 federal and provincial statutes.
- The COS also undertakes the following public safety duties: human-wildlife conflict response and prevention; first response services where recreational or commercial activity on Crown lands poses a risk to public safety; and certain policing functions during emergencies or natural disasters.
Compliance and Enforcement Branch (Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations): http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hen/index.htm
Conservation Officer Service (Ministry of Environment): http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos/
Council of Haida Nation: http://www.haidanation.ca/
Kunst'aa Guu - Kunst'aayah Reconciliation Protocol: http://www.newrelationship.gov.bc.ca/shared/downloads/haida_reconciliation_protocol.pdf
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations