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 37 -- 1998

MUSKWA-KECHIKA MANAGEMENT AREA ACT

 
Contents

Section
Part 1 -- Definitions and Interpretation
1  Definitions and interpretation
Part 2 -- Application
2  Application of other enactments to the management area
Part 3 -- Management Area and Plan
3  Muskwa-Kechika Management Area continued
4  Muskwa-Kechika Management Plan
5  Local strategic plans and landscape unit objectives
6  Enactment of local strategic plans and approvals by designated officials
7  Consistency of operational activities
8  Prerequisites to and approval of operational activities
9  Muskwa-Kechika Advisory Board
Part 4 -- Muskwa-Kechika Trust Fund
10  Trust fund established
11  Minister is the trustee of the trust fund
12  Purposes of and expenditure from fund
13  Payments into trust fund
14  Funding conditions
15  Advisory board to advise on trust projects
Part 5 -- General
16  Application of Offence Act
17  Power to make regulations
18  Appropriation
19  Transitional
20-22  Consequential Amendments
23  Commencement
Schedule

Preamble

WHEREAS the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area is an area of unique wilderness in northeastern British Columbia that is endowed with a globally significant abundance and diversity of wildlife;

AND WHEREAS the management intent for the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area is to maintain in perpetuity the wilderness quality, and the diversity and abundance of wildlife and the ecosystems on which it depends while allowing resource development and use in parts of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area designated for those purposes including recreation, hunting, timber harvesting, mineral exploration and mining, oil and gas exploration and development;

AND WHEREAS the long-term maintenance of wilderness characteristics, wildlife and its habitat is critical to the social and cultural well-being of first nations and other people in the area;

AND WHEREAS the integration of management activities especially related to the planning, development and management of road accesses within the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area is central to achieving this intent and the long-term objective is to return lands to their natural state as development activities are completed;

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

Part 1 -- Definitions and Interpretation

Definitions and interpretation

1 In this Act:

"advisory board" means the Muskwa-Kechika Advisory Board appointed under section 9;

"designated official" means a person designated under section 5 (1);

"district manager" means a district manager appointed for a forest district under the Ministry of Forests Act;

"landscape unit objective" means a landscape unit objective under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act for an area within the management area;

"local strategic plan" means a plan referred to in Schedule 6 to Order in Council 1367/97 or a local strategic plan enacted under section 6 that is one of the following:

(a) an oil and gas pre-tenure plan;

(b) a recreation management plan;

(c) a park management plan;

(d) a wildlife management plan;

"management area" means the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area continued by section 3 and described in the Schedule;

"management plan" means the Muskwa-Kechika Management Plan in Schedule 3 to Order in Council 1367/97 or as enacted or amended under section 4;

"oil and gas pre-tenure plan" means an oil and gas pre-tenure plan as defined by the regulations;

"operational instrument" means a plan, allocation, tenure, disposition, licence or any other instrument or document affecting or respecting Crown land or a natural resource that is enacted or authorized under an enactment other than this Act and the regulations;

"park management plan" means a park management plan as defined by the regulations;

"recreation management plan" means a recreation management plan as defined by the regulations;

"resource management zone" means a zone described in Schedule 2 to Order in Council 1367/97 or defined in the regulations;

"trust fund" means the Muskwa-Kechika Trust Fund established under section 10;

"wildlife management plan" means a wildlife management plan as defined by the regulations.

Part 2 -- Application

Application of other enactments to the management area

2 (1) With respect to the management area, a minister or other agent of the government must not exercise a power under any enactment except in accordance with this Act, the regulations and local strategic plans.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to an order made under the Environment and Land Use Act or a person acting under an order made under that Act.

Part 3 -- Management Area and Plan

Muskwa-Kechika Management Area continued

3 The area established under Order in Council 1367/97 and known as the Muskwa- Kechika Management Area is continued as the management area to be administered under this Act.

Muskwa-Kechika Management Plan

4 (1) The planning and management of Crown land and natural resources in the management area must be conducted in accordance with the management plan.

(2) After giving notice under subsection (3) and consulting with the advisory board, and despite any other Act or regulation, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to enact or amend the management plan respecting the environment, resource management or land use in the management area.

(3) Before the Lieutenant Governor in Council enacts or amends the management plan, the minister must give notice, in accordance with the regulations, of the intention to do so.

(4) For the purposes of section 11.1 of the Mineral Tenure Act and section 12.1 of the Coal Act, the management plan is deemed to be an applicable higher level plan as defined in section 2 (7) of the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act.

Local strategic plans and landscape unit objectives

5 (1) By order, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate by name or title from among the following those persons who may approve operational instruments for the purposes of section 8 (3) and, by order, enact local strategic plans:

(a) a person employed in the Ministry of Energy and Mines who is designated by name or title to be the designated energy and mines official for the purposes of this Act;

(b) a person employed in the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks who is designated by name or title to be the designated environment, lands and parks official for the purposes of this Act;

(c) a person employed in the Ministry of Forests who is designated by name or title to be the designated forest official for the purposes of this Act.

(2) A local strategic plan must do the following:

(a) specify the boundaries of the area within the management area to which the local strategic plan applies;

(b) be consistent with the management plan;

(c) apply measures to achieve the provisions of the management plan.

(3) A landscape unit objective must be consistent with the management plan.

Enactment of local strategic plans and approvals by designated officials

6 (1) Subject to the regulations, designated officials may, by order, enact local strategic plans as follows:

(a) the designated environment, lands and parks official and the designated forest official together may enact a recreation management plan;

(b) the designated energy and mines official, the designated environment, lands and parks official and the designated forest official together may enact an oil and gas pre-tenure plan;

(c) the designated environment, lands and parks official may enact a wildlife management plan;

(d) the designated environment, lands and parks official may enact a park management plan.

(2) When establishing, varying or cancelling a landscape unit objective, the district manager must obtain the approval of the designated energy and mines official and the designated environment, lands and parks official.

Consistency of operational activities

7 (1) If there is no local strategic plan or landscape unit objective and no local strategic plan or landscape unit objective is required under section 8 (1), the issuance, approval, permitting or authorization of an operational instrument affecting or respecting Crown land or a natural resource by a minister or other agent of the government must be consistent with the management plan.

(2) If there is a local strategic plan or landscape unit objective for an area, an operational instrument referred to in subsection (1) affecting or respecting the area must be consistent with the local strategic plan or landscape unit objective as follows:

(a) an operational instrument for timber or range resource management must be consistent with any landscape unit objective;

(b) an operational instrument affecting or respecting oil or gas resource management must be consistent with any local strategic plan that is an oil and gas pre-tenure plan;

(c) an operational instrument affecting or respecting commercial recreation management must be consistent with any local strategic plan that is a recreation management plan;

(d) an operational instrument affecting or respecting a Provincial park or ecological reserve must be consistent with any local strategic plan that is a park management plan;

(e) an operational instrument affecting or respecting wildlife management must be consistent with any local strategic plan that is a wildlife management plan;

(f) a range use plan under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act that applies to a Provincial park must be consistent with any local strategic plan that is a park management plan.

(3) An operational instrument referred to in subsection (1) must incorporate any conditions necessary to make its operation consistent with the management plan.

(4) An operational instrument referred to in subsection (2) must incorporate any conditions necessary to make its operation consistent with the local strategic plan or landscape unit objective.

(5) If the minister or other agent of the government issuing, approving, permitting or authorizing the operational instrument does not otherwise have the power to incorporate the conditions referred to in subsections (3) and (4) in an operational instrument referred to in those subsections, that minister or other agent has that power for the purposes of this Act, the regulations and local strategic plans or landscape unit objectives.

Prerequisites to and approval of operational activities

8 (1) A local strategic plan or landscape unit objective is a prerequisite to the issuance, approval, permitting or authorization, by a minister or other agent of the government, of an operational instrument affecting or respecting an activity in an area only as follows:

(a) a landscape unit objective is a prerequisite to a forest development plan, under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act;

(b) a local strategic plan that is an oil and gas pre-tenure plan is a prerequisite to an operational instrument affecting or respecting oil or gas resource management;

(c) a local strategic plan that is a recreation management plan is a prerequisite to an operational instrument affecting or respecting commercial recreation management.

(2) Despite subsection (1) (b), an oil and gas pre-tenure plan is not a prerequisite to the approval and conduct of geophysical exploration in accordance with Part 4 of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Act.

(3) The approval or issuing of the following operational instruments under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act requires the additional approvals of designated officials as indicated:

(a) before approving a forest development plan under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, the district manager must obtain the approval of the designated environment, lands and parks official regarding any contents of the forest development plan that relate directly to the construction, modification or deactivation of a road;

(b) before issuing a special use permit under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act, approved by the Chief Inspector of Mines, for the purpose of providing road access and other infrastructure outside of the mineral claim area to support mineral exploration or development, the district manager must obtain the approval of the designated environment, lands and parks official and the designated energy and mines official for the practicable location, design and maintenance of any road access or other infrastructure or for the deactivation of any road access;

(c) before approving a range use plan under the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act for an area within a Provincial park, the district manager must obtain the approval of the designated environment, lands and parks official.

(4) If the district manager does not obtain approval of the designated officials specified in subsection (3) within 60 days of requesting approval, the approval or issuing of the operational instrument is to be given or done on the agreement of the appropriate deputy ministers instead of their designated officials.

(5) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a minister or other agent of the government may issue, approve, permit or authorize an operational instrument in respect of a wildfire or a pest or disease infestation to forests or wildlife without a local strategic plan or landscape unit objective being in place.

(6) Despite subsections (1) and (2), if all the designated officials and district managers who would be required to approve a local strategic plan or landscape unit objective as a prerequisite to an operational instrument agree that any local strategic plan or landscape unit objective would not affect the operational instrument, they may approve the operational instrument in the absence of a local strategic plan or landscape unit objective.

Muskwa-Kechika Advisory Board

9 The Premier must appoint an advisory board, to be known as the Muskwa-Kechika Advisory Board, to advise on natural resource management in the management area.

Part 4 -- Muskwa-Kechika Trust Fund

Trust fund established

10 (1) The Muskwa-Kechika Trust Fund is established as a trust fund as defined in the Financial Administration Act.

(2) The trust fund is divided into 2 accounts known as the general account and the project account.

(3) The trust fund is deemed to be an agent of the government for all purposes.

Minister is the trustee of the trust fund

11 (1) The minister is the trustee of the trust fund.

(2) In carrying out the purposes of the trust fund, the trustee is an agent of the government.

Purposes of and expenditure from fund

12 (1) The purposes of the trust fund are the following:

(a) to support wildlife and wilderness resources of the management area through research and integrated management of natural resource development;

(b) to maintain in perpetuity the diversity and abundance of wildlife species and the ecosystems on which they depend throughout the management area.

(2) To achieve the purposes of the trust, the trustee may make payments out of the trust fund only for one or more of the following in respect of the management area:

(a) conserving and enhancing biological diversity, fish, fish habitat, wildlife, wildlife habitat and wilderness values;

(b) conducting research into wilderness management, fish and wildlife biology and ecology, with emphasis on large predator/prey ecosystems;

(c) conducting research into integrated management of wilderness, wildlife, fish, recreation and resource development;

(d) supporting inventories and mapping of wildlife, recreation, range and culture;

(e) supporting planning initiatives regarding wildlife, recreation, parks, access and resource development;

(f) involving and training persons from local communities in resource related career opportunities;

(g) promoting knowledge and awareness of the trust fund, the management area and its wilderness values, by way of promotional, educational or other programs or activities;

(h) supporting enforcement training and activities that serve to ensure compliance with this Act and other relevant enactments;

(i) the reasonable travelling and out of pocket expenses incurred by the advisory board on matters relating to this Act;

(j) administration, staffing, services and supplies provided in relation to matters referred to in this section or provided to otherwise manage the trust fund.

(3) The trustee may make payments out of the project account of the trust fund for the purposes of a project but not for administration, travel, services and supplies provided in relation to the operation of the trust fund or of the advisory board.

(4) The powers of the trustee to spend money from the trust fund are not intended to relieve the government from responsibility to maintain essential programs for the management of resources in the management area.

Payments into trust fund

13 (1) The following must be paid into the trust fund:

(a) money acquired by gift, donation or bequest;

(b) money received as contributions;

(c) revenue derived from fund raising and the sale of promotional, educational or other materials, goods or services and other programs or activities under section 12 (2) (g);

(d) any interest or other income of the trust fund.

(2) The trustee must deposit all money intended for the trust fund to the general account, unless the gift or appropriation specifies otherwise.

(3) The trustee must allocate interest and other income earned on funds from the project account to that account.

(4) The trustee may dispose of property that is obtained by gift and must pay the proceeds of disposition into the trust fund.

Funding conditions

14 The trustee may accept on behalf of the trust fund donations that are subject to conditions, as long as the conditions are consistent with the intent of section 12.

Advisory board to advise on trust projects

15 (1) The advisory board may identify suitable projects and proposals consistent with the purposes of the trust.

(2) The trustee must consult the chair of the advisory board before committing or spending money from the trust fund.

Part 5 -- General

Application of Offence Act

16 Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act, the regulations or orders under this Act.

Power to make regulations

17 (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) defining a word or phrase used but not defined in this Act;

(b) amending the Schedule to add land to the management area.

(3) Without limiting subsection (1), after consulting the advisory board, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) enacting or amending the management plan;

(b) defining the composition and responsibilities of the advisory board;

(c) respecting consultation with the public, including first nations, on proposed amendments to the management plan and the establishment of or changes to a resource management zone.

Appropriation

18 (1) Before May 1 in each year, starting May 1, 1999 and ending May 1, 2002, the Minister of Finance and Corporate Relations

(a) must pay an amount out of the consolidated revenue fund, without an appropriation other than this section, into the general account of the trust fund, up to the amount that would restore the balance in the account to $2 000 000, and

(b) must pay an amount out of the consolidated revenue fund, without an appropriation other than this section, into the project account of the trust fund the lesser of

(i) $400 000 annually, and

(ii) an amount equal to the contributions to the project account during the previous fiscal year.

(2) On the recommendation of Treasury Board, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, extend the operation of subsection (1) to additional fiscal years.

Transitional

19 (1) Order in Council 1367/97 is confirmed and validated.

(2) The Muskwa-Kechika Management Plan in Schedule 3 to Order in Council 1367/97

(a) is confirmed and validated,

(b) is deemed to be a regulation made under this Act, and

(c) at any time after this section comes into force, may be filed as a regulation under the Regulations Act.

(3) The plans listed in Schedule 6 to Order in Council 1367/97

(a) are confirmed and validated,

(b) are deemed to be local strategic plans enacted under this Act, and

(c) are deemed to be orders made under section 6 of this Act.

(4) Before the appointment of the advisory board, regulations under section 17 (3) (a) may be made without giving notice and consulting the advisory board.

 
Consequential Amendments

 
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

20 Schedule 2 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 165, is amended by adding the following:

Public Body:    Muskwa-Kechika Advisory Board
Head: Chair.

 
Oil and Gas Commission Act

21 The Oil and Gas Commission Act is amended by adding the following section:

Application of Act to Muskwa-Kechika Management Area

3.1 If there is a conflict or inconsistency between this Act and the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area Act, the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area Act prevails.

 
Park Act

22 Section 2 (1) of the Park Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 344, is amended by adding ", the Muskwa- Kechika Management Area Act" after "that section".

Commencement

23 This Act, except section 19, comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Schedule

Muskwa-Kechika Management Area

All those parcels or tracts of Crown land, together with all that foreshore or land covered by water, situated in the Cassiar and Peace River Land Districts and contained within the described boundaries as shown on the Official Plan deposited in the Crown Land Registry as Plan 13 Tube 1757.

 
Explanatory Note

The purpose of this Bill is to provide the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area with its own Act and to establish a statutory trust to support wildlife, wilderness resources and integrated management in the management area.


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