“Professional reliance” refers to any situation where the government relies on industry-paid professionals — such as biologists, archaeologists, engineers, geoscientists and environmental scientists — to conduct studies, monitor activities, and more. However in cases concerning the environment and health matters, BC laws go further, turning government decisions over to those private professionals, and restricting the ability of the government to intervene when things go wrong.
In December 2017, the BC government opened an engagement process to solicit feedback from the general public, qualified professionals, and other stakeholders about how the current professional reliance model is working in BC.
This brief was submitted to the BC Professional Reliance Review during the engagement period in January 2018. The submission outlines West Coast Environmental Law’s six principles that need to be in place to avoid regulatory outsourcing while ensuring appropriate use of professionals.