Media Contacts

Jen Holmwood

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
250 818-4881

Media Relations

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations
and Rural Development
250 356-7506

Media Relations

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
250 387-1693


Draft terms of reference for review of 2017 wildfire and flood response

The strategic review of the Province’s emergency management system will examine and assess the provincial and local government response to the 2017 flooding and wildfire events, including the provision of recommendations that can assist the Province in improving upon its systems, processes and procedures.

Specifically, the review will focus on the governance aspects of the system, including statutes, regulations, policy and leadership practices that define the context within which the emergency management system operates.

The review will consider the spectrum of activities that are undertaken across the four phases representing the lifecycle of the BC Emergency Management System.

The review and recommendations will provide overall guidance to the Province on the following key focus areas:

Planning and Preparedness

  • Status of assessment of hazard, risk and vulnerabilities
  • Status of provincial governance, planning and preparedness levels
  • Capacity of the Province to plan for and ensure support to local governments, regional districts and First Nation communities
  • Status of local government, regional district and First Nation communities’ governance, planning and preparedness levels
  • Resourcing requirements for flood and fire events for all key capability assets
  • Review and status of actions taken from the Filmon Report to identify progress and determine whether there are any remaining gaps in implementing the recommendations

Prevention and Mitigation

  • Current activities and opportunities for new activities by government and partners, including activities at the landscape level, that could contribute to enhanced prevention and mitigation for natural hazards
  • Review of current forest management practices, including but not limited to hazard abatement and harvest age
  • Economic costs and benefits associated with existing practices and possible enhanced mitigation practices for natural hazards


  • Execution of the 2016 BC Emergency Management System
  • Province’s ability to respond effectively and sustain operations over a longer term during major emergency events of provincial significance, including resourcing requirements for all key capability assets
  • Province’s ability to effectively support local government response during significant emergencies
  • Province’s ability to quickly and effectively secure required resources during critical incidents
  • Capacity of local government, regional districts and First Nations communities to respond effectively during major emergency events
  • State of co-ordination and communication structures and processes in place within the provincial government
  • Co-ordination and communication structures and process with other levels of governments and external partners including but not limited to First Nations, Canada, local governments and regional districts, communities and the public
  • Examination of private and public sector best practices to respond to major emergency events of provincial significance, including the identification of tools and approaches that may be effective in the B.C. context


  • Current state and capacity for the Province to assist and support communities, businesses and individuals in recovery efforts

The terms of reference are designed to be as comprehensive as possible and the reviewers have the discretion to consider other items that may be brought forward in the context of emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

A final report and recommendations are due to government by April 30, 2018, to help inform government’s actions in advance of the 2018 freshet and wildfire seasons. If more time is needed, government will use interim recommendations.

Co-chairs of 2017 wildfire and freshet strategic review team

George Abbott:

George Abbott has had a long and distinguished career in public service. 

He was B.C.’s minister of Education from 2010 to 2012, minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation from 2009 to 2010, minister of Health from 2005 to 2009, minister of Sustainable Resource Management from 2004 to 2005 and minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services from 2001 to 2004.

From 1996 to 2001, Abbott was deputy house leader for the Official Opposition in the B.C. legislature.

He also served for 17 years in local government, including as director and chair of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District and a councillor with the District of Sicamous.

Abbott was a sessional lecturer in political science at Okanagan University College from 1980 to 1996 and at the University of Victoria in 2013.

Chief Maureen Chapman:

Shxwetelemel-elhot (Chief Maureen Chapman) has been the Hereditary Chief of Sq’ewá:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation since 1999. She has a provincial and national reputation as a committed advocate for First Nations self-governance and autonomy, with a particular interest in children, families and women’s health issues.

Chapman was born in Clearwater and has been a teacher and mentor on community-identified issues, both as an educator and as Chief. She has always believed in maintaining family connections as a way of strengthening First Nations and re-establishing cultural ties within communities. As an active Chief in B.C.’s Fraser Region, Chapman is recognized for bringing an honest, fair and practical approach to many difficult issues.

Chief Chapman supports and has been involved with the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples, a 10-point platform that revives nation-to-nation relationships between First Nations and the federal government.