Sponsors: Village of Valemount, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George
WHEREAS highway rescue services should be consistent throughout the Province of British Columbia, available on all provincial highways and funded in full by the Provincial Government;
AND WHEREAS highway rescue services are available on some highways, but:
• Funded through local taxation if the incident location is within the local rescue service area boundary; and
• Funded in part by Emergency Management BC if the incident location is outside of the local rescue service area boundary;
AND WHEREAS the Province is responsible for maintaining all provincial highways in the Province of British Columbia:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Provincial Government assume the responsibility of ensuring that highway rescue services are provided in a consistent manner on all provincial highways and are fully funded by the Province.
UBCM Comments: The UBCM membership has not previously endorsed a resolution that specifically requests the Province fully fund and provide road rescue services in a “consistent manner.”
With that being said, the UBCM membership has consistently endorsed resolutions calling on the provincial government to provide funding for road rescue and vehicle extrication, including recently endorsed resolutions 2015-B17, 2014-B15, 2013-B8, 2011-B4, 2010-B6, 2009-B28, 2009-B69, 2009-B88, and 2007-B10. Resolution 2015-B17 requested that the Province fund road rescue services throughout British Columbia. In response, the Provincial Government noted support, through reimbursed response rates, that is provided to road rescue responders who provide services outside their jurisdiction, as well as provisions in the Emergency Program Act that provide WorkSafeBC coverage and exemption from civil liability for road rescue organizations.
Additionally, resolution 2017-B83 was referred to the UBCM Executive for consideration. The resolution requests amendments to provincial legislation to allow for more timely removal of damaged vehicles on provincial highways, bridges and tunnels.
UBCM would request clarification from the sponsor as to what constitutes “consistent” provision of road rescue services, in the context of this resolution.