VICTORIA, B.C. – Sonia Furstenau, B.C. Green Party environment spokesperson, says government should move quickly to implement the recommendations of Mark Haddock’s professional reliance report. Addressing the failures of the professional reliance model was a key B.C. Green Party platform commitment and this report is the result of the review initiated by the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the B.C. Greens and the B.C. NDP.
“As pointed out in the report, the introduction of professional reliance resulted in a significant reduction in the numbers of experts in government, and a growing dependence on expertise and information from professionals hired by industry. This raised concerns about government’s capacity to provide adequate oversight to ensure the public interest,” said Furstenau.
“Far too often, this has left communities concerned about the impacts of resource and industrial activity on their health, safety and local environment. In the wake of disasters like Mount Polley, it is clear that government needs to reclaim its central role in ensuring the highest possible degree of integrity in project approval in order to re-establish public trust. Ensuring public trust is the best way to balance the interests of people with the certainty that businesses need.
“While government will need to consult with industry before fully adopting some of these recommendations, it’s important that they accept them all and put together a plan to implement them in a timely fashion. Additionally, government needs to be properly resourced to ensure it can have the final say on whether projects are truly in the public interest and do not put communities at risk of undue harm. I look forward to working closely with the Minister on implementation so that we can begin to restore public trust in decision-making process and oversight of projects that impact communities across BC.”
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