B.C.’s modernized emergency legislation will require more preparedness

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May 01, 2023 – Gordon Hoekstra/Vancouver Sun

The B.C. government plans to introduce sweeping changes to emergency management legislation this fall to increase preparedness for climate-fuelled natural disasters and provide a larger leadership role for First Nations.

The long-awaited changes to emergency laws, the first in three decades, are being driven by the devastating consequences of an increase in catastrophic floods, wildfires and extreme heat that B.C. has experienced in the past decade.

The legislative changes had been stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic and even floods and wildfires several times and were finally expected to be delivered this spring. However, after feedback on the need for communities to understand the new legislation, B.C.’s minister of emergency management and climate readiness, Bowinn Ma, said she now expects to introduce the changes this fall.

“It has become clear that with climate change, and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events that have been happening, oftentimes, very, very close together, it’s necessary for us to not only to support communities in responding to and recovering from disasters, but also to be much more proactive in preparing for and mitigating the impacts of disasters before they happen,” Ma told Postmedia.

Read the full article at vancouversun.com.