“If this report isn’t a wake-up call for the need for increased staffing and other resources, I don’t know what is.” — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Vancouver (09 May 2016) — The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) is calling on the B.C. government to allocate additional resources to boost staffing for regulation and enforcement in the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment.
Wake-up call for the B.C. government
The call comes in response to the comprehensive report from B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer, entitled An Audit of Compliance and Enforcement of the Mining Sector.
Bellringer concluded the ministries are failing when it comes to a robust compliance and enforcement program. She also identified gaps in resources and planning in both ministries. She found monitoring and inspections of mines were inadequate to ensure operators were complying with regulations.
Report echoes concerns BCGEU/NUPGE has been raising for years
For years, the BCGEU/NUPGE has identified as problematic the limited resources allotted to the regulatory activities of monitoring, compliance and enforcement in these ministries.
“In meetings with ministers and in public statements, the BCGEU/NUPGE has been calling for an increase in resources since the 2014 Mount Polley dam disaster, when the tailings pond breached and sent 25 million cubic metres of waste into nearby waterways,” said Stephanie Smith, President of the BCGEU/NUPGE. “If this report isn’t a wake-up call for the need for increased staffing and other resources, I don’t know what is.”
The BCGEU/NUPGE represents over 800 members in the two ministries. The union is studying Bellringer’s report and expects to have a more detailed response in the coming days.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE