Wildfires are just one of the emergencies detailed in the Fraser Valley Regional District’s emergency management plan, which was recently audited by the auditor general of local government. (Kim Piper photo)

FVRD emergency plan only ‘partially meeting’ expectations, says auditor

Regional district says they are already working on shortfalls in emergency management

A performance audit of the Fraser Valley Regional District’s emergency management plans and programs found that the regional district had some foundational elements of an emergency management program, but many aspects of it were not developed or only partially developed, said Gordon Ruth, auditor general for local government (AGLG).

“I was pleased to see the Fraser Valley Regional District beginning to make some changes to its emergency management program in anticipation of our audit,” Ruth said, “and I hope our report will assist the regional district to continue strengthening its emergency management program.”

An 88-page report on the audit’s findings was released Thursday, and it includes 15 recommendations for the regional district.

It says the audit found that the regional district only partially met the expectations included in the AGLG audit objectives and needs to take steps to significantly strengthen its emergency management and business continuity practices to be better prepared for potential emergencies.

In response, FVRD has noted that it has already taken steps to address the recommendations in the report.

The audit report identifies specific areas where the regional district should take action, including ensuring that its emergency management program is fully compliant with the Local Government Act and provincial emergency management regulations. The report also recommends that the regional district develop a strategic and cohesive approach to emergency management and business continuity that is supported by revised or new bylaws and comprehensive plans.

Emergency management is a shared responsibility of all levels of government and its importance has been demonstrated in recent years, as various B.C. communities have dealt with the impacts of flooding and wildfires, as well as increasing concern for coastal communities about tsunami preparedness. Provincial legislation provides local governments with direction on emergency management and is currently being updated by government.

“Given the increasing importance of emergency management and business continuity planning at the community level, I hope all B.C. local governments will review this report and use it to help focus their own efforts to enhance their emergency management practices,” Ruth said. “Emergency management is particularly essential for local governments, given the fundamental nature of many of their services that may be affected by emergencies, such as drinking water, wastewater, roads, protective services and others.”

The report’s 15 recommendations to the Fraser Valley Regional District cover areas ranging from statutory requirements and governance to emergency planning, resourcing, training, exercising and testing emergency plans, raising public awareness and continuously improving its emergency management program.

This is the AGLG’s fourth report on emergency management in local governments. Reports have previously been released on the emergency management activities of the Capital Regional District, Town of Sidney and District of Mission.

The Fraser Valley Regional District’s performance audit report is available on the AGLG’s website: www.aglg.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack to remember D-Day veterans on 76th anniversary of Normandy landing

Thousands died June 6, 1944, coming ashore on beaches in France while facing heavy German resistance

Road washout affecting section of Highway No. 3 near Manning Park

Road maintenance crews are on the scene, with an almost two kilometre long stretch impacted

Column: Patience and persistence required with green technology

Solar panels and wind farms aren’t yet where we need them to be, but does that mean we give up?

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Caretakers say goodbye to Gwynne Vaughan heritage house in Chilliwack after 17 years

Larry and Vicky Graitson have seen a lot of changes at the community park over the years

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Abbotsford’s UFV gym now without a sponsor

Partnership with Envision Financial ends, school seeking new organizations to partner with

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Most Read