The provincial government is inviting British Columbians to provide input to help shape and improve new emergency-management regulations, including post-emergency financial assistance for people recovering from a disaster.

Public engagement is open until January 31, 2024, to gather input on the development of two new regulations under the recently introduced Emergency and Disaster Management Act. Individuals, communities, and small businesses are invited to share written feedback or take part in virtual workshops in November:

  • Small business/individual session 1: Wednesday, November 1, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Small business/individual session 2: Friday, November 10, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Small business/individual session 3: Friday, November 17, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Sessions for First Nations will also be offered.

“Following the 2021 atmospheric-river event, we received the highest number of applications in our Disaster Financial Assistance program’s history,” said Bowinn Ma, Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. “We know the regulation has gaps that we need to address to better support people as they recover from emergencies. By participating in this engagement, British Columbians will have a say about how they can best be supported when they require assistance recovering from an emergency event. I urge people to share their experiences so we can provide the most timely and effective assistance possible.”

A post-emergency financial-assistance regulation will replace the existing Compensation and Disaster Financial Assistance Regulation. The Province is also seeking feedback on new regulations to supplement and complete provisions under the new legislation for local authorities.

The Emergency and Disaster Management Act, introduced on October 3, 2023, incorporates lessons learned from recent emergencies and reflects modern risks and realities, including climate change. The legislation adheres to the United Nations’ best practices for disaster risk reduction and incorporates all four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

The Emergency and Disaster Management Act is important in aligning B.C.’s approach with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Province is committed to continuing work with First Nations to progress efforts to support alignment under the declaration.

Content is taken from Government of BC Press Release (October 12, 2023) and Government of BC website.