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BC Flood and Wildfire Review

In December 2017, the provincial government appointed former MLA George Abbott and hereditary Chief Maureen Chapman to undertake a thorough review of the Province’s response to the 2017 flood and wildfire season. In addition to directly examining the actions taken by the Province, the review also included a consultation process, hearing from individuals, Indigenous communities, local governments, and other stakeholders.

Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia outlines the findings of the review, including 108 recommendations to improve disaster response. Among the recommendations are a number of options for the Province to enhance partnerships with local governments. These include support towards local emergency plans, better clarification around roles and responsibilities during an emergency, and establishing workshops and forums to help support information sharing, understanding, and identification of policy gaps. There is also an emphasis on a more streamlined and efficient response and recovery process.

In response to the independent review, the provincial government recently released an action plan, which among other things provides a progress update on implementation of the recommendations contained in the review. The action plan also acknowledges feedback received during the 2018 UBCM Convention, and a commitment to “engage with UBCM representatives into 2019.”

Emergency Program Act Review

The Emergency Program Actintroduced in 1993, forms the legislative framework for the management of disasters and emergencies in British Columbia. With minimal change since its introduction, the Act outlines the responsibilities of local governments, provincial authorities and crown corporations and the Province’s emergency management program. In particular, the Act assigns authority to declare a state of emergency, and requires local governments, provincial ministries and agencies, and crown corporations to develop emergency management plans and programs to respond to disasters, emergencies and catastrophes.

In November 2016, following the release of a provincial discussion paper and engagement process, UBCM provided a submission to the Province that summarized local authority feedback, and included several overarching recommendations. Many of the recommendations made by UBCM were similar to those made by the Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness in a report to Cabinet. As of November 2018, it is unclear if the review will continue into its next stage(s).

Correspondence / Documents 
Province to UBCM re: Local Government Input to the Emergency Program Act Review [PDF - 510 KB] – Jan 2017
UBCM to Province re: Submission to Emergency Program Act Review [PDF - 1.2 MB] – Nov 2016
UBCM to Province re: Emergency Program Act Review [PDF - 93 KB] – Jan 2016
Province to UBCM re: Emergency Program Act Review [PDF - 437 KB] – Jan 2016

Articles
UBCM Analysis of EPA Review Feedback, The Compass – Nov 2016
Deadline Extended for Emergency Program Act Input, The Compass – Feb 2016
Extension Provided for Emergency Program Act Review, BC Gov News – Feb 2016
Emergency Program Act Review Underway, The Compass – Jan 2016

911 Services in BC

At present, local governments—mainly regional districts—operate 911 services on a regional basis, to meet local needs. A small number of municipalities provide their own 911 services or use other local government 911 service providers. The 911 system manages over 1.5 million calls per year, at an annual cost exceeding $12 million. Funding for 911 services is generated through property tax and a levy on telephone landlines.

In March 2015, the provincial government released a discussion paper, Emergency Communications Service Delivery in British Columbia, Police Communication Centres and 9-1-1 Public Service Answering Points; and soon after, published a summary of stakeholder consultations. The Province’s strategic vision outlined “what is needed on a provincial level to address the challenges”—in particular, how to consolidate the 9-1-1 public service answering point and police dispatch service delivery model, and improve the current funding model.

At the April 2016 UBCM Executive meeting, the Board approved a recommendation to endorse the provincial discussion paper and proposed call answer levy, subject to an agreement with the Province on the establishment of an independent body for revenue administration.

As of November 2018, no such agreement has been reached. However, the Province has recently re-started work on this initiative, in part due to a 2017 CRTC decision to require all telecommunictions service providers to have technology ready to provide Next Generation 911 services by 2020. The Province is currently meeting with stakeholders (including UBCM) to gather information.

Correspondence
Province to UBCM re: 911 Emergency Communications Service Delivery [PDF - 212 KB] - Oct 2018
Province to UBCM re: 9-1-1 CAL on wireless devices [PDF - 25 KB]
 – Aug 2016
UBCM to Province re: 9-1-1 CAL on cellular devices [PDF - 92 KB] – July 2016
UBCM to Local Governments re: 9-1-1 CAL Feedback [PDF - 233 KB] – Oct 2013
Province to UBCM re: 9-1-1 CAL Working Group [PDF - 37 KB] – Nov 2012

Articles
Province Seeks Input on Emergency Communication – Apr 2015
9-1-1 Levy No Longer Under Consideration – May 2014
Province Wide Levy on Wireless Services – Nov 2013
Member Feedback Sought on Funding of 9-1-1 Services – Sep 2013
Funding Emergency 9-1-1 Services – Sep 2013

Flood Management Announcements

Amendments to Provincial Flood Hazard Area Land Use Management Guidelines (Sections 3.5 and 3.6) – Oct 2017

Contact

Bhar Sihota
Policy Analyst
bsihota@ เว็บพนันบอลไทย www.filmfactoryboston.com
(604) 270-8226 x114

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