Legislative amendments introduced Tuesday will make it easier for hunters to complete licensing, permitting and reporting activities online, and also will give wildfire investigators more time to complete their work and streamline the cost-recovery process associated with human-caused wildfires.
With the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Statutes Amendment Act, 2017 (Bill 5), the B.C. government is acting on previous commitments to streamline processes and move more services online.
Specifically, the proposed amendments to the Wildlife Act would:
- Support the launch of a new online licensing system for hunters.
- Allow for the submission of required reports electronically through a new online system.
- Reduce the number of authorizations hunters are required to carry while hunting.
- Enhance compliance and enforcement by allowing conservation officers to request photo ID from all hunters, anglers and trappers.
The new online licensing system for hunters would:
- Give resident hunters the option of obtaining their hunting licences online at: www.gov.bc.ca/hunting
- Implement redesigned species licences that hunters would be required to carry at all times while hunting, allowing for more accurate tracking and improved overall management of wildlife.
- Enable certain permits and licences to be issued on the same day that the applications are submitted.
The B.C. government also intends to give the BC Wildfire Service and other government agencies more time to investigate wildfires, since those sorts of investigations can be both complex and time-consuming.
The extra time will allow them to better determine whether the government should pursue the recovery of costs associated with fire suppression, fire damage, or contraventions of wildfire-related legislation.
"The addition of electronic-based sales of hunting licences and species tags is an important step toward meeting our government's commitment to improve service and offer more convenience and choices for hunter registration in B.C," said Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson.
"We also intend to give wildfire investigators more time to complete their work and, where appropriate, actively pursue the recovery of costs associated with violations of wildfire legislation."
The proposed Wildfire Act amendments reinforce the government's commitment to public safety and dealing appropriately with people or companies that violate this legislation.
Specifically, the proposed amendments to the Wildfire Act would:
- Implement a standardized limitation period of three years to give wildfire investigators more time to complete their work and initiate any required enforcement proceedings.
- Give the government more time to recover costs associated with wildfire control, to levy penalties or to require violators to undertake remediation activities.
- Provide more time and flexibility for the government to consider charges related to damage, reforestation and remediation related to wildfire activity.
To follow this bill's progress through the legislature, visit this website link.