Law & Policy Tools: Shared Responsibility Underpins a Regional Team Approach to Creating Our Future in British Columbia
In December 2009, the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia released a Backgrounder that discusses how the Province has enabled local government by providing law and policy tools to help communities achieve water sustainability and manage settlement change in balance with ecology.
How Government Works in BC
The Province of British Columbia has put in place a policy framework that enables local governments to commit to doing business differently:
This is what we want our communities to look like in 50 years, and this is what we will do starting now to ensure it happens.
The relationship between the provincial and local levels of government in British Columbia has evolved differently than in other provinces. Historically, the Province has enabled local government by providing policy and legal tools.
In general, the enabling approach means the onus is on local government to take the initiative because the Province recognizes that communities are in the best position to develop solutions which meet their own unique needs and local conditions.
Shared Responsibility Explained
“Policy and legal tools can help developers, regulators and designers collaborate to implement green infrastructure solutions and ensure responsible outcomes. Each party in the process has a responsibility,” states Susan Rutherford, Staff Counsel with West Coast Environmental Law. Susan Rutherford is a member of the Green Infrastructure Partnership steering committee.
“Building on the experience we have gained on Vancouver Island through the CAVI program, the Green Infrastructure Partnership is in the process of framing a Responsibility Matrix that regulators, developers and designers will be able to use as a decision support tool.”
“Our purpose in developing the Responsibility Matrix is to encourage players with different perspectives to talk candidly with each other about green infrastructure or other sustainability goal implementation.”
“There are solutions to be found if all parties in the community development process, i.e., staff within local and regional governments as well as private and other actors external to government but no less involved in the development process, simply talk to each other about how they could all work together more effectively, using law reform or other process changes as tools,” concludes Susan Rutherford.
To Learn More About the Responsibility Matrix:
To learn more about the Responsibility Matrix and how it supports a regional team approach, click on Backgrounder: Shared Responsibility Underpins a Regional Team Approach to Creating Our Future in British Columbia to download a copy of the discussion document released by the Water Sustainability Action Plan in December 2009.
Posted December 2009