Administrative Monetary Penalties
In March 2016, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia passed Bill 8: Mines Amendment Act, 2016 to enable development of an administrative monetary penalty (AMP) program under the Mines Act. AMPs provide an additional compliance and enforcement tool that is efficient, cost-effective an flexible, and can be imposed without court involvement.
While AMPs are new to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (EMPR), they are widely used by other ministries in the natural resource sector, including the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (ENV) and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNR).
The amendments to the Mines Act put in place key components required for the AMP program, such as the authority to make findings of contravention or non-compliance and to impose AMPs. The Mines Act also provides the ability to appeal an AMP. The Administrative Penalties (Mines) Regulation sets outs out the specific requirements that, if contravened, may attract an AMP. The Administrative Penalties (Mines) Regulation also provides the maximum AMP amounts that can be imposed for each contravention. This regulation is now in effect and is accessible through the BC Laws Database.
Prior to the enactment of the Administrative Penalties (Mines) Regulation, government sought input on key aspects of the AMP regulation after publishing the following discussion paper for public review and comment: