Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Whether it’s a wildfire or a flood, the legislative framework provides the backbone of what we do

The BC government is calling upon emergency management practitioners, community and First Nations leaders, businesses, non-profit organizations and other interested British Columbians to provide their input and expertise as the Province prepares to modernize its emergency management legislation.

There’s a lot of emergency management expertise and experience in this province that can help us ensure that modernized legislation is responsive to B.C.’s needs in the future,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
Photo credit -- Government of BC

Whether it’s a wildfire or a flood, the legislative framework provides the backbone of what we do. We want to draw upon the knowledge that exists so our legislation reflects what communities need to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.”

To gather input on proposed legislative changes, the Province is releasing a discussion paper for comment, outlining the proposed direction for modernized emergency management legislation. Individuals or organizations can provide their feedback until January 31st, 2020, on proposed legislative changes that would:

  • encompass all stages of emergency management — mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery;
  • reflect a shift from disaster response to managing and reducing disaster risk;
  • include an all-of-society approach where emergency management is a shared responsibility of individuals, governments, communities and private and non-profit sectors;
  • further reconciliation efforts by recognizing First Nations as partners in emergency management;
  • put safety first, with the protection of life, health and safety being paramount;
  • make sure decisions made under the act and its regulations are transparent;
  • include a funding mechanism that is responsive, flexible and disciplined; and
  • ensure the act is inclusive and considers the needs of vulnerable citizens.

When something like a flood devastates your community like it did in Grand Forks and the Boundary, you quickly learn what’s missing in the toolkit of disaster recovery,” said Roly Russell, chair of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

We learned a great deal and our team is pleased to be able to use that experience to help inform legislative reform that will make our province’s communities more resilient to future disasters and enable our communities to genuinely build back better.”

Since the Emergency Program Act was introduced in 1993, changes in the size and scope of emergencies, along with how they are managed, have occurred and need to be reflected in legislation. These include climate change concerns and the adoption of the United Nations’ Sendai Framework, which is an internationally acknowledged approach to emergency management disaster risk reduction.
Photo credit -- Government of BC
Following the unprecedented flood and wildfire seasons of 2017 and 2018, updates to the legislation will reflect recommendations from the Abbott-Chapman Report, the report by the Tsilhqot’in National Government on the 2017 wildfires and numerous after-action reports. Updated legislation is expected to be introduced in the fall 2020 legislative session.

When Chief Maureen Chapman and I reviewed the unprecedented wildfire season of 2017, we found that there’s work to do to improve how the Province manages emergencies in communities,” said George Abbott, co-author of the Abbott-Chapman Report.

If BC is going to better support communities, and First Nations, from mitigation right through to recovery, there needs to be strong and inclusive legislation backing it, and that’s what these changes have the opportunity to do. I urge community leaders, Indigenous communities and emergency experts to take the opportunity to provide their input.”

The Emergency Program Act is BC’s primary piece of legislation for supporting disaster risk management. It outlines the roles and responsibilities of local authorities and the provincial government when preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies.

The act establishes the conditions under which governments may declare a state of emergency and deploy emergency powers to protect livelihoods and damage to property.

Learn More:

A copy of the discussion paper, along with instructions on how to provide feedback can be found at:

Feedback on the discussion paper can be provided at:


Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su


Show more