The Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy says the public has lost confidence in the professional reliance model.
That’s when proponents of a project have to submit reports from professionals ranging from biologists to engineers to the government in order to proceed with a project.
George Heyman says the province will be reviewing the current legislation governing qualified professionals in the natural resource sector, and the role their professional associations play in upholding the public interest…..
Heyman says some areas of the system don’t make sense.
He cites an incident where a group of farmers were required to monitor the quality of the water and relied on a professional to do that work for them and submit it to the government, however the public was not allowed to see the results of the testing.
Sonia Furstenau, MLA for Cowichan Valley, says, in Shawnigan residents saw firsthand how the uncertainty created by professional reliance erodes trust…..
Furstenau says before professional reliance, government relied on independent in-house experts to conduct environmental assessments to ensure the health and safety of B.C.’s communities.
But, she says under professional reliance, the responsibility for that due diligence shifted to industry which lends itself to conflict of interest.