Natural resource acts to be simplified

VICTORIA - The Natural Resource Compliance Act introduced recently will make it easier for officers to hold offenders accountable

VICTORIA – The Natural Resource Compliance Act introduced recently will make it easier for compliance and enforcement officers to hold offenders accountable for violating natural resource legislation.

“The Natural Resource Compliance Act builds on government’s vision of an integrated approach to land-based management and expands the work we’ve already done to simplify front-end processes,” said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. “Natural resource officers will be able to enforce a wider range of regulations and improve our response to infractions on the ground.”

If passed, the act will establish one designation, “natural resource officer”, which will allow officers to enforce a broader range of legislation across the natural resource sector. Currently, officers do not have the authority to enforce acts other than the ones they have been specifically designated to uphold.

Implementing a single-designation process means staff will be able to act quicker and more efficiently to violations that span numerous natural resource acts since only one officer will need to respond, instead of the three or four as may be currently required.

Officials from other areas of government, such as BC Parks, will also be able to assist in enforcing Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations legislation, resulting in better on-the-ground coverage.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations currently has 175 compliance and enforcement officers, of which 155 are dedicated to carrying out inspections and investigations.

More than 11,000 inspections are completed each year, covering a variety of provisions within the ministry’s mandate.

– Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations