British Columbians are invited to provide input into the future of the Emergency Program Act (EPA) through an online public engagement website.
The site will be open for six weeks, and is scheduled to close on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, at 4 p.m. Pacific time, at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/emergencyprogramact/
‘Prepared and Resilient’ is a discussion paper on the legislative framework for emergency management in British Columbia that follows up with ongoing consultations done across government. It is intended to support an engaging consultation with stakeholders about emergency management legislation in B.C.
The EPA requires local authorities, ministries, Crown corporations, government agencies, and others to develop plans and programs to prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters in the Province.
While best practices in the field of emergency management in B.C. and elsewhere have evolved significantly over the past two decades, the Emergency Program Act in B.C. has remained largely unchanged since its introduction in 1993. It has never been the subject of a full and open review until now.
This consultation acknowledges recent changes some other Canadian jurisdictions have made to modernize their emergency management laws. The engagement has also been shaped by findings and recommendations of the 2014 earthquake preparedness reports of the British Columbia's auditor general and Henry Renteria.
You can provide feedback by joining the online discussion or sending your comments by email. The opportunity for comment is open until Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. Government also has invited key stakeholders to make formal stakeholder submissions that will be made available publicly as they are received.
The input and feedback that will be received from interested British Columbians on the challenges and proposals outlined in the discussion paper will best inform the development of any changes to the law, creating legislation that supports a prepared and resilient province.