Emergency Program Act Modernization

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What is this engagement about?

Emergency Management B.C. (EMBC) is modernizing the Emergency Program Act (EPA) to support more effective management of emergencies in B.C. by incorporating international best practices, including the United Nations (UN) Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai Framework); the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration); and the draft principles that guide the Province’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples.

In October 2018, B.C. become the first Canadian province to adopt the Sendai Framework. One of its key tenets is an “all of society” approach to emergency management to help build resilience at the individual and community levels. In May 2019, BC adopted an Interim Disaster Recovery Framework to provide a governance and operational structure for recovery prior to development of the new legislation. The proposals outlined in the discussion paper will provide the legislative framework to build on these measures and will position B.C. as a leading jurisdiction in emergency management.

The new Act will reflect the lessons learned from the unprecedented flood and wildfire seasons in 2017 and 2018, address all four pillars of emergency management (mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery), and place more emphasis on up-front disaster risk reduction in order to prevent events from happening and to lessen the impact when they do occur.

On October 28, Minister Mike Farnworth publicly released a discussion paper explaining the need for new legislation and outlining the proposed policy direction for modernized emergency management legislation. With the discussion paper government is seeking comment and feedback from its many emergency management partners and the public.

Feedback will be accepted until 4:00pm on January 31, 2020.

During this time, you can download the Emergency Management Legislation Discussion Paper and share your feedback in several different ways including:
  1. Email your comments to EmergencyProgramAct@gov.bc.ca
  2. Mail your comments to:

Attn: Citizen Engagement
PO BOX 9484 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 9W6

How can my contribution make a difference?

EMBC will use feedback from this public engagement period to inform drafting of the new legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the Fall 2020 legislative session.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy is also engaging on the topic of climate preparedness and how people and communities can be ready to address the impact of climate change. If you have ideas to share go to the Climate Ready BC: Preparing Together website. 

A “What we Heard Report” highlighting feedback received will be released after the engagement period closes.

Details of the Engagement:

Date: October 28, 2019 to January 31, 2020

Status: Open

Location: Province-wide

Category: Health and Safety

Types: Online, Email

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