Additional Information on Professional Reliance in Natural Resources

Last updated on May 6, 2020

Background on the Professional Reliance Review


About the Review

The review of the Province’s professional reliance review was conducted in fall/winter 2017-2018 with the goal to ensure the highest professional, technical and ethical standards are being applied to resource management in B.C. 

The review was in accordance with the 2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement between the NDP and Green Caucus to “address failures in the professional reliance review in B.C.”[1], as well as the 2017 mandate letter for Minister Heyman to meet the “public’s expectation of a strong, transparent process.”[2]

A public engagement process resulted in over 2,200 feedback forms from the public, 102 stakeholder submissions, and over 1,800 surveys from professionals, along with findings from a review of current legislation and best practices in other jurisdictions and sectors. As well, all B.C. Indigenous nations were invited to share their experiences, including how their Nation values the use of qualified professionals (QPs) to inform natural resource decisions related to resource use. The purpose of this engagement was to solicit feedback on the performance of the current professional reliance review and possible enhancements from a diverse group of stakeholders, including QPs, those who use QP information in both government and the private sector, and the general public.

There were several ways to participate in the engagement process which was open from December 1, 2017 to January 19, 2018.

  • Citizens (individuals) and users of QP information (e.g. proponents) could complete an online survey.
  • Stakeholders were invited to submit a formal submission.
  • QPs were invited to complete a survey through their member associations.

Stakeholders were asked to submit their views on the following questions:

  1. What is working well with the current professional reliance review in B.C., and what is not?
  2. What changes, if any, are needed to maintain or improve public trust in the professional reliance review?
  3. Other observations or recommendations you would like to make about this review?

Government led the collection of information that Mark Haddock considered in developing a report and accompanying recommendations. 


What Happened to Your Input on the Review

Feedback collected from Indigenous nations, the public, stakeholders, those who use QP information in government and the private sector, professional associations, as well as QPs themselves was considered. After the public feedback process closed on January 19, 2018 government analyzed the results and made a summary report available to the public. This summary is listed as an appendix of the final report.

The following are from respondents who indicated they would like their submission made public:

AltaGas Ltd. (PDF)
Al Walters (PDF)
Anthony Britneff (PDF)
Anthony Britneff – Development Framework (PDF)
Antiquus Archaeological Consultants Ltd (PDF)
Apex Property Owners Association (PDF)
Association for Mineral Exploration (PDF)
Association of Professional Biology (PDF)
Association of BC Forest Professionals (PDF)
Association of BC Land Surveyors (PDF)
Association of the Chemical Profession of BC (PDF)
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC (PDF)
BC Coalition for Forestry Reform (PDF)
BC Council of Forest Industries and the Coast Forest Products Association 1 (PDF)
BC Council of Forest Industries and the Coast Forest Products Association 2 (PDF)
BCIA PRR Release (PDF)
BC Nature (PDF)
BC Stone Sand and Gravel Association (PDF)
BC Trappers Association (PDF)
BC Tap Water Alliance (PDF)
Bernhard H.J. Juurlink (PDF)
Bob Kopp (PDF)
Bob McKechnie (PDF)
BC Wildlife Federation (PDF)
Briony Penn (PDF)
Boundary Environmental Alliance (PDF)
British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association (PDF)
British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects (PDF)
Bryan Fraser (PDF)
BCGEU Part 2 (PDF)
Business Council of British Columbia (PDF)
Canadian Cave Conservancy (PDF)
Cariboo Mountain Outfitters (PDF)
Circle M Outfitters (PDF)
Clear Coast Consulting (PDF)
Coast Mountain Expeditions & Discovery Islands Lodge (PDF)
College of Applied Biology (PDF)
Contaminated Sites Approved Professional Society (PDF)
Cowichan Lake and River Stewardship Society (PDF)
Cedarland Forest Products (PDF)
David Bowering (PDF)
Douglas Channel Watch Society (PDF)
Dr. Bruce Fraser (PDF)
Dr. Bruce Fraser – Saving Place (PDF)
Ecofish Research Ltd. (PDF)
Ecojustice (PDF)
Engineers & Geoscientist B.C (PDF)
Eureka Peak Lodge & Outfitters Ltd. (PDF)
Evidence for Democracy (PDF)
Farlyn Campbell (PDF)
Federation of BC Woodlot Associations (PDF)
Finlay River Outfitters Ltd. (PDF)
Forest Practices Board (PDF)
FortisBC (PDF)
Fred Marshall (PDF)
Friends and Residents of the North Fork (PDF)
Friends of Carmanah Walbran Part 1 (PDF)
Friends of Carmanah Walbran Part 2 (PDF)

Future of Howe Sound Society (PDF)
Geoff Chislett, Gerry Fox, Richard Morley and Ray Travers (PDF)
Glade Watershed Protection Society (PDF)
Halfway River First Nation (PDF)
Herb Hammond, Forest Ecologist & Forester Silva Ecosystem Consultants Ltd. (PDF)
Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (PDF)
Islands Trust Council (PDF)
Josette Wier (PDF)
Judy Thomas (PDF)
Kamloops Area Preservation Association (PDF)
Kathleen Ruff (PDF)
Lhtako Dene Nation (PDF)
Lois and Dave-Schurek (PDF)
Managed Forest Council (PDF)
Martin Hykin (PDF)
Mining Association of British Columbia (PDF)
Murray Wilson (PDF)
My Sea to Sky (PDF)
Nexus Learning Group (PDF)
Nickel Plate Nordic Centre (PDF)
Northern Confluence (PDF)
Northern Health (PDF)
Organizing for Change – 45 Signatories (PDF)
Paul Griffiths & Carolyn Ramsey (PDF)
Peachland Resident’s Association (PDF)
Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance (PDF)
Professional Employees Association (PDF)
Randy Murray (PDF)
Ray Travers (PDF)
Romer Consulting Submission (PDF)
Romer Consulting 2 (PDF)
Save Hullcar Aquifer Team (PDF)
Sean Hern (PDF)
Shuswap Environmental Action Society (PDF)
Sierra Club BC (PDF)
Skeena Fisheries Commission (PDF)
SkeenaWild Conservation Trust (PDF)
Speak Up For Wildlife Foundation (PDF)
Stirling Angus (PDF)
Stoney Creek Environment Committee (PDF)
Swansea Point Community Association (PDF)
TimberWest Forest Corporation (PDF)
Tolko Industries Ltd. (PDF)
Tony Pearse (PDF)
Upper Clearwater Referral Group (PDF)
Upper Nechako Wilderness Council (PDF)
Urban Development Institute (PDF)
Vancouver Coastal Health (PDF)
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (PDF)
Visual Science (PDF)
Watershed Watch Salmon Society (PDF)
WaterWealth Project (PDF) 
Wells Gray Adventures (PDF)
Wells Gray Gateway Protection Society (PDF)
West Coast Environmental Law (PDF)
Western Forest Products Inc. (PDF)
Western Forestry Contractors’ Association (PDF)
Wilderness Committee (PDF)
Wildsight (PDF)


The Final Report of the Review of Professional Reliance in Natural Resource Decision-Making

In June 2018 a final report on the professional reliance review in B.C. was delivered to government by Mark Haddock. 

The report contains 121 recommendations:

  • recommendations #1 and #2 address professional governance
  • recommendations #3 to #34 address improvements to laws, regulations and authorizations
  • the remaining 87 recommendations focus on specific regulatory regimes in the natural resource sector

The provincial government accepted the first two governance recommendations in the report. These recommendations involved restructuring the governance of the regulatory bodies by creating a new office to oversee professional legislation, developing best practices for governance and regulating professional associations as needed, and standardizing elements of professional governance through umbrella legislation.

Government continues to consider and develop appropriate actions to respond to the remaining recommendations in the report and is acting on many of them as part of its broader goals and specific agency mandate commitments for natural resource management.


Professional Governance Act (PGA)

Following the release of the report and government’s commitment to move forward with recommendations on professional governance, the ministry worked extensively with the five regulatory bodies over 11 half-day sessions on the policy areas to be included in the proposed PGA. Indigenous nations throughout the province were invited to provide input on professional governance. Key proposed elements were discussed at five face-to-face meetings and two online sessions, with eight nations participating. A two-day advisory roundtable workshop involving the regulatory bodies to be included in anew act (on day one), community groups, other professional associations, businesses, unions, environmental organizations, and an Indigenous organization allowed for these interested parties to provide input into the legislative framework.

The Professional Governance Act (PGA) was introduced and received Royal Assent in fall 2018. Reflecting practical advice provided by regulatory bodies, Indigenous nations and interested parties, the PGA strengthens governance of professionals who work in B.C.’s natural resource sector and in other sectors.

The PGA legislates reforms for professional governance in B.C. and institutes best practices for the professional regulators to ensure professionals are held to the highest technical and ethical standards. The Act established the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (Office), located in the Ministry of Attorney General, that is responsible for implementation and administration of the PGA, including oversight of professional regulators to ensure they are governing their respective professions in the public interest.

The five regulatory bodies and statutes in scope to be regulated by the PGA are:


Regulations Intentions Paper

Government released the Regulations Intentions Paper Consequent to the Proposed Professional Governance Act on October 30, 2018 to seek comments and feedback from Indigenous nations, interested parties and the public on key topics to inform the development of policy and regulations for implementing the Professional Governance Act. Topics included practice rights of professions, regulation of firms, and competency declarations and conflict of interest declarations. The intentions paper comment period ran from October 30, 2018 through to March 4, 2019.

In December 2018, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy delivered a series of webinars for interested British Columbians to accompany the Intentions Paper. Recordings of these presentations can be found below:

Questions and answers from these sessions can be found in the documents below:

The Office will continue to consider the feedback received as policy and regulations are developed on these topics, as well as to inform future engagement on these topics.