1998/99 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 36th Parliament
FIRST READING


The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


HONOURABLE CATHY McGREGOR
MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, LANDS AND PARKS

BILL 40 -- 1998

ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT AMENDMENT ACT, 1998

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

1 The Environment Management Act, R.S.B.C 1996, c. 118, is amended by adding the following heading before section 1:

Part 1 -- Environmental Management .

2 Section 1 (1) is amended

(a) by striking out "In this Act:" and substituting "In this Part:", and

(b) in the definition of "board" by striking out "Act;" and substituting "Part;".

3 Sections 1 (2), 8, 9 (3), 10 (1), 13 and 14 (4) are amended by striking out "Act" wherever it appears and substituting "Part".

4 Section 11 (1) is amended by adding ", or under Part 2 of this Act," after "any other enactment".

5 The following Part is added:

Part 2 -- Environmental Stewardship

Definitions

16 In this Part:

"board" means the board of directors of a stewardship agency;

"company" means a company incorporated or continued under the Company Act or the Canada Business Corporations Act (Canada);

"electronic library" means a data base located at an internet site maintained by a stewardship agency;

"registrant" means a person who is registered with a stewardship agency;

"society" means a society incorporated under the Society Act;

"stewardship agency" means a stewardship agency, established under section 18 (1), that has been delegated authority to administer and manage a stewardship program;

"stewardship program" means a stewardship program established under an enactment for the enhancement, management and protection of the environment.

Purpose

17 The purpose of this Part is

(a) to enhance the capacity of the ministry to carry out new stewardship programs, and

(b) to provide for the enhancement, management and protection of the environment by authorizing and governing the establishment and operation of stewardship agencies.

Establishment of stewardship agencies

18 (1) Subject to subsection (4), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation,

(a) establish and name one or more stewardship agencies, and

(b) delegate to a stewardship agency all or part of

(i) the administration and management of a stewardship program, and

(ii) the authorities of the government under a stewardship program.

(2) A delegation under subsection (1) (b) is subject to the limitations, conditions and requirements that the Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe.

(3) In a delegation under subsection (1) (b) the Lieutenant Governor in Council may authorize a stewardship agency to delegate to a company, corporation or society all or part of the exercise of the delegated power subject to the limitations, conditions and requirements that the Lieutenant Governor in Council may prescribe.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must not make a regulation under subsection (1) that affects the administration and management of a stewardship program except on the recommendation of the minister or ministers responsible for that stewardship program.

(5) A stewardship agency, company, corporation or society must exercise in the public interest the powers and authorities delegated to it under this section.

(6) A stewardship agency is a corporation and for all purposes an agent of the government.

(7) Subject to the other provisions of this Part, a stewardship agency has the powers and capacity of a natural person of full capacity.

(8) The Company Act does not apply to a stewardship agency, but the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, direct that one or more provisions of the Company Act apply to a stewardship agency.

(9) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may take any steps that are necessary to cancel all or part of a delegation made under subsection (1) (b) if the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers it appropriate to do so.

Directors

19 (1) A stewardship agency established under section 18 (1) must have a board of directors consisting of at least 5 persons appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate one of the directors as chair of the board and one or more of the directors as vice chair.

(3) One or more of the persons appointed under subsection (1) may be from ministry staff or from the staff of another ministry.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint persons to the board, other than those referred to in subsection (3), that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers are representative of the various stakeholders who have an interest in the stewardship program for which the stewardship agency has responsibility.

(5) An appointment to the board is for a term of not more than 4 years unless sooner revoked, but a person may be reappointed for further terms.

(6) A director who is not a public service employee within the meaning of the Public Service Act may be paid remuneration set by the board, and every director must be reimbursed for reasonable out of pocket travelling and other expenses incurred in the discharge of his or her duties.

Powers of a board

20 (1) A board must make rules

(a) governing its own operations and procedures, and

(b) governing the operations and procedures of the stewardship agency.

(2) The rules of the board made under subsection (1) must be available for public inspection

(a) during regular business hours at the office of the stewardship agency, and

(b) on the electronic library.

(3) The board must govern and administer the affairs of the stewardship agency

(a) in accordance with this Part, the regulations under this Part, the rules of the board and any directions of the minister, and

(b) in the public interest.

Powers and duties of a stewardship agency

21 (1) A stewardship agency must do all of the following:

(a) administer and manage stewardship programs in accordance with regulations made under section 18 (1);

(b) exercise the authorities of the government under stewardship programs as delegated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council;

(c) accept applications for the registration of persons, and renew the registration of registrants;

(d) establish and maintain an electronic library;

(e) establish and maintain a public registry of registrants, and make the registry available to the public on the electronic library.

(2) For the better administration and management of a stewardship program, a stewardship agency may do any or all of the following:

(a) appoint officers and hire employees it considers necessary for the work of the stewardship agency, and set the terms of their employment including setting their remuneration and duties;

(b) establish categories of registrants and classes of activities, operations and products;

(c) set fees for the registration and renewal of registration of categories of persons referred to in section 22 (1), and may provide differently for different categories of persons;

(d) set levies to be paid by categories of registrants with respect to their activities, operations and products, and may provide differently for different categories of registrants and different classes of activities, operations and products;

(e) direct that levies referred to in paragraph (d) be paid to the stewardship agency or to another registrant;

(f) suspend, cancel or vary the registration of a registrant;

(g) develop policies respecting the administration and management of stewardship programs and apply those policies;

(h) spend money raised by fees and levies

(i) for administrative expenses, salaries and other costs of the stewardship agency,

(ii) to promote environmentally responsible conduct,

(iii) to monitor and report on compliance with the stewardship program and any standards, codes of practice and best management practices established under paragraph (m), and

(iv) for other prescribed purposes;

(i) require registrants to provide to the stewardship agency information that demonstrates compliance with this Part and the stewardship program;

(j) provide and accept any application, notice or communication by electronic means;

(k) provide monitoring and inspection services, and maintain files and documentation respecting those services;

(l) advise the minister with respect to the development and application of regulations for stewardship programs;

(m) with the approval of the minister, establish standards, codes of practice and best management practices that apply to registrants;

(n) promote industry and community involvement in the operation of stewardship programs;

(o) design and administer training, testing and certification programs for registrants with respect to their activities, operations and products;

(p) provide for dispute resolution services if at least one registrant of the stewardship agency is involved in the dispute;

(q) provide the public with information, education and communications respecting stewardship programs;

(r) enter into any contract considered by the stewardship agency to be necessary or desirable for the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties;

(s) perform other prescribed powers and duties in relation to stewardship programs.

(3) Before exercising a power under subsection (2) (c), (d), (e) or (m), the board must do all of the following:

(a) give notice of the board's intention to exercise the power

(i) by a means acceptable to the minister, and

(ii) by posting on the electronic library;

(b) give stakeholders a reasonable opportunity to provide the board with comments respecting the proposed power;

(c) take into account any comments received from stakeholders;

(d) approve the matter by a majority vote of the directors of the board who are entitled to vote.

(4) The board must give notice of a power exercised under subsection (2) (c), (d), (e) or (m), by publishing in one issue of the Gazette and by posting and maintaining on the electronic library, that the board has exercised the power and its effective date, and provide a summary description of the power exercised and a statement of fees or levies, if any, set by the board.

(5) Despite the Financial Administration Act, fees and levies payable under subsection (2) (c) and (d) do not form part of the consolidated revenue fund.

Registration and renewal requirements

22 (1) A person who is in a prescribed category of persons must

(a) make an application to register with the stewardship agency that administers and manages a stewardship program that applies to that person,

(b) register in the form and manner specified by the stewardship agency, and

(c) pay any applicable registration fees and levies assessed by the stewardship agency.

(2) A stewardship agency must register a person who complies with all of the requirements of subsection (1).

(3) A registrant must

(a) renew their registration annually in the form and manner specified by the stewardship agency,

(b) pay any applicable renewal fees and levies assessed by the stewardship agency, and

(c) comply with this Part and the regulations.

(4) This section applies to a person referred to in subsection (1) or (3) despite the failure of that person to register or renew a registration, and any fees and levies, including interest, that would have been payable had the person registered or renewed registration are an amount owing to the stewardship agency or to another registrant as directed by the board.

Directions by the minister

23 (1) The minister may issue written directions to a stewardship agency

(a) specifying factors, criteria and guidelines that the stewardship agency must use when exercising its powers and performing its duties, and

(b) setting objectives and targets for stewardship programs.

(2) A stewardship agency must comply with any direction made by the minister.

Reporting requirements

24 (1) A stewardship agency must prepare and submit to the minister, by March 31 in each year, an annual report in respect of the previous calendar year that includes

(a) a financial statement for the stewardship agency prepared by an auditor qualified to be the auditor of a reporting company under section 180 of the Company Act, and

(b) a report on the operation and financial performance of the stewardship agency in relation to

(i) meeting the terms and conditions of a delegation made under section 18 (1) (b), and

(ii) any other objectives or targets set by the minister under section 23 (1) (b).

(2) In addition to the requirements of subsection (1), the minister may, at any time, require a stewardship agency to submit a report in respect of the matters set out in subsection (1) (b).

(3) Despite subsection (1), the first annual report of a stewardship agency is due by March 31 of the year following completion of the first full year of operation of the stewardship agency, and must be in respect of the operation of the stewardship agency for all months before and including that full year of operation.

(4) The annual report required by subsection (1) must be made available to the public by posting it on the electronic library.

Annual meeting of a stewardship agency

25 (1) On or after April 1 in each year, a stewardship agency must hold a public general meeting and give notice of that general meeting

(a) to each registrant, and

(b) to the general public.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1) (b), the stewardship agency must give public notice of the time and place and the purpose of the general meeting

(a) by a means acceptable to the minister, and

(b) by posting on the electronic library.

(3) The annual report referred to in section 24 (1) must be presented to the general meeting, and there must be an opportunity at the general meeting for public comment on the report.

(4) Despite subsection (1), a stewardship agency is not required to hold the first general meeting until after the submission to the minister of the first annual report required by section 24 (1).

Immunity for acts or omissions in good faith

26 (1) No action for damages lies or may be brought against a director of a board, company, corporation or society, or a person acting on behalf of or under the direction of the board, company, corporation or society, because of anything done or omitted in good faith

(a) in the performance or intended performance of any duty under this Part or the regulations, or

(b) in the exercise or intended exercise of any power under this Part or the regulations.

(2) Subsection (1) does not absolve the board, company, corporation or society from vicarious liability for an act or omission for which it would be vicariously liable if this section were not in force.

Confidentiality

27 (1) A person acting under the authority of this Part must keep confidential all facts, information and records which identify a registrant and that were obtained or provided under this Part or any other enactment, except so far as the person's public duty requires, or this Part or another enactment permits, the person to make disclosure of them or to report or take official action on them.

(2) Except in respect of a proceeding under this Part or another enactment, a person to whom subsection (1) applies is not in any civil proceeding compelled to give evidence respecting any facts, information or records obtained by the person in the course of the person's duties.

Summary proceedings without action

28 (1) If a person fails to pay fees or levies that are due and payable to a stewardship agency or registrant under this Part, the chair of the board of directors of the stewardship agency may issue a certificate stating the amount due, the amount remaining unpaid, including interest, and the name of the person by whom that amount is payable.

(2) The chair of the board may file the certificate issued under subsection (1) with any district registrar of the Supreme Court and, when filed, the certificate has the same effect, and all proceedings may be taken on it, as if it were a judgment of the court in favour of the stewardship agency or registrant for the recovery of a debt of the amount stated in the certificate against the person named in it.

Appeals

29 (1) If a registrant is aggrieved by a decision made by a stewardship agency

(a) in the exercise of the authorities of the government delegated to it under section 18 (1) (b) (ii), or

(b) under section 21 (2) (f),

the registrant may, within 30 days of the decision, appeal the decision to the Environmental Appeal Board established under Part 1.

(2) On hearing an appeal under subsection (1), the Environmental Appeal Board may confirm, vary or rescind the decision under appeal.

Offence and penalty

30 (1) A person who contravenes section 18 (5), 22 (1) (a) or (3) (a), 24 (1) or 27 (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $25 000.

(2) If a corporation commits an offence under this Part, an employee, officer, director or agent of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the offence commits the offence even though the corporation is convicted.

(3) If an offence under this Part continues for more than one day, separate fines, each not exceeding the maximum fine for that offence, may be imposed for each day the offence continues.

(4) Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Part.

Regulations

31 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) prescribing additional purposes for which expenditures may be made by stewardship agencies;

(b) prescribing additional powers, duties and activities of stewardship agencies for the better carrying out of stewardship programs;

(c) prescribing categories of persons who must register with a stewardship agency, and may provide differently for different categories of persons;

(d) prescribing standards that apply to registrants, activities, operations and products;

(e) limiting or varying the application of section 24 (1);

(f) respecting any matter the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the intent and purpose of this Part.

(3) A regulation made under this section may adopt by reference, with any changes the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary, all or part of any code or standard established by a stewardship agency under section 21 (2) (m), and may require compliance with that code or standard as adopted.

Transitional

32 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) setting levies to be paid by persons who are subject to a stewardship program with respect to their activities, operations and products, and may provide differently for different categories of persons and different classes of activities, operations or products, and

(b) directing to whom levies referred to in paragraph (a) must be paid.

(2) This section and the regulations made under it are repealed on December 31, 2000.

(3) A person who contravenes a regulation made under subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of not more than $25 000.

 
Consequential Amendment

 
Waste Management Act

6 Section 57 (2) of the Waste Management Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 482, is amended by adding the following paragraph:

(w) establishing stewardship programs for the enhancement, management and protection of the environment.

 
Explanatory Notes

SECTION 1: [Environment Management Act, adds a heading] consolidates sections 1 to 15 of the Environment Management Act under Part 1.

SECTION 2: [Environment Management Act, amends section 1 (1)] is consequential to the amendment made by section 1 of this Bill.

SECTION 3: [Environment Management Act, amends sections 1 (2), 8, 9 (3), 10 (1), 13 and 14 (4)] is consequential to the amendment made by section 1 of this Bill.

SECTION 4: [Environment Management Act, amends section 11 (1)] is consequential to section 29 of the Environment Management Act as enacted by section 5 of this Bill.

SECTION 5: [Environment Management Act, enacts Part 2]

SECTION 6: [Waste Management Act, adds section 57 (2) (w)] allows the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations establishing stewardship programs for the purposes of the Waste Management Act.


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