Public Interest Bonding Strategy

What is the Public Interest Bonding Strategy?

The Government of British Columbia is conducting a review of financial assurance mechanisms (e.g., bonding) under the Environmental Management Act. The Province released a discussion paper, on April 13, 2022 and feedback was requested on policy approaches to ensure that industry pays the full cost of environmental clean-up and reclamation.

What is this engagement about?

The discussion paper is part of a strategy to address the following minister’s 2020/2022 mandate commitment:
“With support from the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, take steps to ensure owners of large industrial projects are bonded moving forward so that they – not British Columbians – pay the full costs of environmental cleanup if their projects are abandoned.”

Financial assurance (e.g., bonds) can be used as an incentive to reduce environmental risks and hold industry accountable for clean-up, as the funds are not returned until the clean-up is complete. If a project is abandoned or a company does not fulfil their obligations, the Province can access the funds to ensure clean-up and reclamation.

While most companies properly manage their environmental risks, some industrial projects in B.C. have lacked sufficient financial assurance (e.g., bonds) to cover the cost of environmental clean-up and reclamation. This has resulted in taxpayers covering the clean-up costs.

The Public Interest Bonding Strategy aims to establish financial assurance mechanisms for existing active and new projects that pose high environmental and financial risks, with the goal of protecting the Province and British Columbians from foreseen clean-up costs.

Engagement Timeline:

Winter 2021/22: Early engagement and development of discussion paper

April 13 – May 28, 2022: Discussion paper release and broad engagement

Summer 2022: Release of the publicly available What We Heard report

News Release:

Ways to participate

Virtual Engagement Sessions

With the release of the discussion paper, the Province conducted broad engagement to help inform effective and efficient solutions to deliver on the ministry’s mandate commitment. You may download the Public Interest Bonding Strategy public engagement session presentation.

Virtual engagement sessions were held:

Public Engagement Sessions
April 20, 9 :00 AM– 11:00 AM
April 21, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
April 28, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
May 5, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

BC First Nations and Indigenous Organizations Sessions
April 20, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
April 25, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
April 27, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
May 2, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
May 3, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Online feedback and written submissions

All British Columbians were invited to submit feedback online or to make written submissions.

Feedback was invited until May 28, 2022, at 4:00 pm. (complete)

How can my contribution make a difference?

Your input will help the Province by providing valuable feedback on policy recommendations and help us develop a made-for-B.C. approach to environmental accountability.

Details of the Engagement

Date: April 13, 2022 to May 28, 2022

Category: environment, natural-resources

Status: Closed

Location: Province-wide

Type: Online, Written Submission