Dave Peterson, Assistant Deputy Minister of Emergency Management BC, addresses delegates at the NCLGA Convention in Williams Lake during a session on community risk: wildfire and flood. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

EMBC calls for emergency management legislation overhaul

EMBC assistant deputy minister tells delegates at NCLGA

Legislation that deals with emergency management in B.C. needs to be completely rewritten, said Dave Peterson, assistant deputy minister of Emergency Management BC.

“Someone like me who works in the provincial government, but no different that any of you in your communities, knows how important that sort of fundamental piece of legislation is,” Peterson told delegates at the North Central Local Government Convention during a session focused on wildfire and flood and community risk held Friday, May 10.

“The Emergency Program Act in B.C. is very, very, very outdated and we are completely rewriting it, bringing it up to speed with everyone we have learned over the last few years.”

Focus of EMBC in the past has been on responding to emergencies, but over the last couple of years, has gotten into the recovery.

“We are seeing now it’s mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery — all four of those pillars are critical to moving forward.”

He said the updated Emergency Program Act will align with all four pillars.

The updated act will also cover elements such as readily available funding and improved financial assistance, he said.

“We have already started some engagement with communities through UBCM, and with First Nations.”

Read more: New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better co-ordination with First Nations

A public discussion paper will be shared in the fall, that was recently completed, and Peterson said it will take two years before the new legislation is in place.

“Over the last couple of years we learned a lot about the improvements that are needed in the recovery side. We just finished, and it got endorsed by cabinet what we are calling an Interim Disaster Recovery Framework,” he added.

“One of the really significant pieces in the framework is to better organize the provincial government to support communities and individuals in recovery.”

After the 2017 wildfires, when he inherited the recovery program, it was apparent the provincial government did not have a good organization in place, he added.

“We had lot of agencies that weren’t really sure what their roles were, they weren’t necessarily talking to each other and I think some of the worse cases were where we were going into one community not knowing someone else had just been there the day before or the morning before asking the same questions.”

Recovery and disasters impact every department of government, he said.

Read more: NCLGA panelists share wildfire experiences and concerns moving forward



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crews responding to vehicle fire on Highway 97 south of Williams Lake

A witness said the 150 Mile House volunteer fire department is attending, traffic lanes still open

Jayson Gilbert charged in Williams Lake murder of Richard “Savage” Duncan

Gilbert also faces first degree murder in the Rudy Johnson Bridge death of Branton Regner

LETTER: Williams Lake Dry Grad Committee officially cancels festivities for 2020

Socially distanced photos to adorn some local businesses

IG Wealth Management Williams Lake gifts iPads to Cariboo Place for residents’ use

With long-term care homes on lockdown during COVID-19, residents visit family virtually

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Williams Lake Tribune continue its mission to provide trusted local news

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read