Update emergency legislation, UBCM tells provincial government

Local governments want clarity on funding, consultation

The B.C. government needs to update emergency management legislation to include sustainable funding and support measures for local governments, Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) delegates voted Sept. 23.

Delegates voted 99% in favour of the move.

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As part of this year’s virtual conference, delegates approved a resolution calling on the provincial government to develop an ongoing sustainable funding framework for local governments to address emergency management responsibilities, confirm adequate provincial support services for local governments to address emergency management capacity issues and to consult with UBCM and local governments in the development of measures to address challenges resulting from new emergency management legislation.

"UBCM recommends the funding be distributed throughout the province to local governments on a proportionate by population model similar to the gas tax,” Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams said.

The resolution said Emergency Management BC has acknowledged the need to support local governments in responding to these proposed changes, but has yet to outline any specific support mechanisms.

The UBCM resolutions committee said in 2019, Emergency Management BC began a review with the intention of amending and modernizing B.C.’s emergency management legislation.

“Proposed changes to B.C.’s emergency management legislation have the potential to create new costs and responsibilities for local governments,” the committee said.



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