The opportunity to provide input into the future of the Emergency Program Act (EPA) has been extended until April 22, 2016, to allow more time for feedback.
Government’s desire to encourage a robust and thoughtful dialogue on the EPA prompted the extension after hearing the desire expressed by some stakeholders for additional time to provide a more thorough and meaningful response, particularly in cases where local authorities required more time to get the EPA discussion paper on their counsel docket.
On Jan. 11, 2016, the public engagement website at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/emergencyprogramact/ opened, initially with a six-week window for feedback.
‘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 April 22, 2016, 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.