Report calls for serious changes to BC’s Professional Reliance system

Last week, the B.C. government released its review of the professional reliance system, a system that has put industry in charge of water, fish and wildlife in British Columbia. The report, written by Mark Haddock, makes it clear that the professional reliance system has failed us, and that, because they are hired by the very industry they are meant to regulate, professionals have been constrained in their decision-making.

“It’s clear that the public cannot depend on industry to police itself, yet this is exactly the kind of system British Columbia has had in place,” says Eddie Petryshen, Wildsight’s Conservation Coordinator. “The professional reliance report recommends third party oversight by professionals who are not accountable to industry bosses when signing plans or expressing professional opinions.”

The report sets forth steps to improve the system, including the integration of local knowledge and the creation of an overarching regulatory body directed to prioritize public health, water quality, fish and wildlife.

“Water quality, fish and wildlife in British Columbia have too often been managed as an afterthought to maintaining production targets,” says Petryshen. “We urge the BC government to adopt all of the recommendations set forth in this report and put British Columbians back in control of their natural resources.”


Header photo: Dave Quinn