VICTORIA, B.C. - Today legislation to increase transparency and accountability for regulatory bodies, ensuring professionals act in the public interest, came into effect standardizing how regulatory bodies govern their registered professionals.
“I am heartened to see this legislation fully and finally brought into force today. This effort stems back to my community’s fight to protect its drinking water from a contaminated landfill and was what motivated me to get into provincial politics,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Cowichan Valley.
“The mismanagement that led to the situation in Shawnigan can be seen replicated all over our province. Instead of taking it one fight at a time, I knew we needed to reform the system that was causing these problems in the first place. Protecting the natural systems we all depend on for health and life is a critical governance issue. We have a long way to go, but I’m proud my efforts to reform the Professional Governance Act have helped move things in the right direction.
“This is an important improvement to resource management in B.C. and ensures that we have proper regulations in place as well as tools to penalize companies that break the law.
“COVID-19 has exposed the need for B.C.'s economy to become more resilient to future shocks. To more sustainability rebuild our local economies, people first need to have trust in government and in industry to protect their health and safety. As resource development has been the backbone of many B.C. communities, this legislation is pivotal in establishing public trust at the outset of a project.
“I am proud to have negotiated the inclusion of professional governance reform as an early and key priority in the minority government and have deep gratitude for all of the dedicated public servants who saw it through. While we celebrate this legislation coming into force, much still needs to be done to restore public trust in land use decision making.”
The Professional Governance Act is a direct response to the first two recommendations of Mark Haddock’s Professional Reliance Report, published in June 2018 following an independent review of the professional reliance model. This review was a B.C. Green platform policy initiative and a key inclusion in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the B.C. Greens and B.C. NDP. The process leading up to this legislation was informed by widespread stakeholder engagement.
B.C. Green Caucus
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