New Professional Reliance Legislation Announced!
The B.C. government has introduced legislation aimed at making sure decisions
affecting the province’s natural resources are science-based, transparent and protect B.C.’s
unique environment for future generations.
The Professional Governance Act will, if passed, modernize and strengthen the roles and
expectations of qualified professionals in the province, in turn providing greater, science-based
public oversight of how B.C.’s natural resources are managed. It will also establish an office of
the superintendent of professional governance to ensure consistency and best practices are
applied in the work of qualified professionals moving forward.
“This legislation is about making sure we live up to our responsibilities to British Columbians in
protecting our natural heritage for our kids and grandkids,” said George Heyman, Minister of
Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “British Columbians are rightly proud of our natural
resources and environment — they represent who we are and where we’ve come from. This
legislation recognizes that legacy and symbolizes a recommitment to putting the public interest
first when it comes to managing our natural resources.”
“These changes will help strengthen public trust that the health and safety of their
communities always comes first,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley. “They will
also give greater certainty to industry and qualified professionals. I am encouraged that
government has acted quickly to implement these key recommendations from Mark Haddock’s
report and I am hopeful that we will also see action on his other recommendations.”
The legislation and the establishment of the office of the superintendent of professional
governance are intended to increase public access to natural resource information and ensure
professionals are held to the highest ethical and technical standards. They are being proposed
in response to two recommendations included in the final report of the Professional Reliance
Review, submitted in June 2018 following a full public engagement process.
The remainder of the report and recommendations focus on natural resource regulatory
regimes. Government is acting on many of these recommendations as part of broader goals
and mandate commitments for natural resource management, including strengthening results based
laws, building government capacity for compliance and enforcement, modernizing land use
planning and building partnerships with Indigenous peoples for resource management.
Other recommendations will be considered by specific ministries over the coming months.
Read the full release here.