The days of government relying on industry-hired experts rather than its own inspectors may be coming to an end.
Environment Minister George Heyman announced Friday that Victoria is reviewing the province’s ‘professional reliance model,’ and is seeking public input on the issue.
“The people of B.C. are entitled to a voice in how forests, minerals, metals, petroleum, fish and other natural resources are managed,” said Heyman in a press release. “They need to have confidence that qualified professionals working within the professional reliance model are acting first and foremost to protect the public interest.”
The public engagement process, which closes on Jan. 19, 2018, asks B.C. citizens about the role of qualified professionals (QPs) in the natural resource sector. Additionally, the review will have questions for qualified professionals themselves, and ask for contributions from professional associations and those who use QPs in their projects.
“Effective oversight and monitoring of B.C.’s vast forests and natural resources is important to the people of B.C.,” said Christine Gelowitz, registered professional forester, Association of BC Forest Professionals CEO. “As a regulator working to ensure our forests are well managed, I welcome the opportunity to strengthen the results-based professional reliance model used in forestry, including the role of registered professionals.”
Feedback collected from citizens, stakeholders, QPs and users of QPs will be considered, along with findings from a review of current legislation and best practices in other jurisdictions. After the public feedback process closes on Jan. 19, 2018, the government will analyze the results and make a summary report available to the public.
The review of the professional reliance model was announced in October 2017. A final report is expected to be completed in spring 2018.