The British Columbia government is conducting a review of the Province’s professional reliance model to ensure the highest professional, technical and ethical standards are being applied to resource management in B.C.
“Reviewing the professional reliance model is a top priority for this government because the public must be assured that we have a strong transparent process in place that upholds the highest environmental standards,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman. “Actions flowing from this review will help restore public confidence in government’s oversight, to ensure the public interest is protected when it comes to resource management.”
The review will assess the current legislation governing qualified professionals (QPs) in the natural resource sector, and the role their professional associations play in upholding the public interest. Additionally, the review will look at other jurisdictions to identify best practices and assess whether those practices are being used by QPs doing work on government’s behalf. Finally, the review will make recommendations regarding resource decisions made by government, conditions governing the involvement of QPs in those decisions and the appropriate level of government oversight to assure the public their interests are protected.
“I am delighted that the government is moving forward with a comprehensive review of professional reliance,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley. “The impacts of this system have been felt across B.C., and particularly brought to light in Shawnigan. We support the government in rebuilding trust through this review.”
Engagement with those who use QPs in both government and the private sector, as well as stakeholders and representatives of the public, will also be part of the review.
A final report is expected to be completed by spring 2018 with recommendations to inform the following:
- Professional reliance use in the natural resource sector and in-house capacity
- Government oversight of QPs
- Development of an implementation plan with a timeline for tangible steps to increase public trust in government decisions
The review of the professional reliance model is contained in Heyman’s mandate letter, as well as the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Green Caucus.
The Professional Reliance Review Terms of Reference will be posted at: engage.gov.bc.ca