MR. SPENCER CHANDRA HERBERT

BILL M 226 – 2015

PROTECTING OUR LAKES AND ECONOMY FROM INVASIVE SPECIES ACT, 2015

This Bill protects freshwater lakes and rivers in British Columbia from invasive species by requiring mandatory inspection of incoming watercraft at British Columbia entry points and prior to entering British Columbia waters. Any boat or vessel arriving from out of province must report to an inspection site. Individuals entering with watercraft must obey signage and proceed to an inspection station. Failure to comply may result in fines and all monies collected in fines must be administered for the purpose of supporting relevant fisheries programs.

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

Purpose

1  The purpose of this Act is that invasive species be considered a threat to the ecology and the economy of British Columbia, and the overall purpose of the provisions in this Act relating to invasive species are to facilitate and enhance the detection, suppression, elimination and prevention of the spread of invasive organisms in British Columbia.

Watercraft inspectors

2  (1) For the purposes of advancing the intent of this Act with respect specifically to invasive species in relation to conveyances, the Minister may, in writing, appoint an individual as a watercraft inspector or a class of individuals as watercraft inspectors and may further restrict the jurisdiction that any such watercraft inspector or class would otherwise be entitled to exercise under this Act.

(2) The jurisdiction of a watercraft inspector is restricted to acting with respect to invasive species and conveyances and only at or in the vicinity of an inspection station and, notwithstanding anything else in this Act, the provisions of this Act that give a watercraft inspector any power or duty, or any other person a power or duty in relation to a watercraft inspector, are to be construed as being subject to those restrictions.

Power to stop and order movement of conveyances

3  (1) An officer for the purpose of ensuring compliance with this Act or while lawfully engaged in the exercise of powers or the performance of duties under this Act or any other applicable law, may signal or otherwise order an individual

(a) operating a conveyance to stop it forthwith or to move it to a particular location and then stop it, or

(b) with a container or equipment to stop, and that individual shall forthwith comply with that signal or order and shall not proceed until otherwise allowed by the officer or until the end of any period that is reasonably necessary to enable an officer to conduct any lawful inquiries.

(2) An officer may detain the conveyance, container or equipment for a reasonable time pending the carrying out of an inspection.

Power to demand licence

4  Where an officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that a person is or has been undertaking an activity for or in respect of which a licence is required, that official may order that person to produce the licence that authorizes that person to undertake that activity.

Production of identification by official

5  While exercising powers or performing duties under this Act, an official shall, on being requested to do so, produce identification that meets the prescribed requirements and provide information about those powers and duties of an official of that kind that are relevant to the circumstances.

Rights of entry and passing over land without warrant

6  An officer may, without a warrant, enter on and pass over land for any purpose involved in

(a) ensuring compliance with, administering or enforcing this Act or any other applicable law, or

(b) ascertaining the presence of any invasive organisms.

Power to search

7  (1) An officer may, with and subject to the conditions in a warrant or without a warrant if the official believes on reasonable grounds that by reason of exigent circumstances (including circumstances in which the resulting delay will or might result in a danger to human life or safety or a threat to British Columbia’s ecology or the loss or destruction of evidence) it would not be practicable to get a warrant, enter and search any place or conveyance in, on or at which the official believes on reasonable grounds that

(a) there is anything

(i) by means of or in relation to which this Act has been contravened, or

(ii) that will afford evidence of a contravention of this Act,

(b) any activity is being or has been carried on in contravention of this Act, or

(c) there are invasive organisms present.

(2) In carrying out a search that is allowed by subsection (1), the officer may

(a) seize anything referred to in subsection (1) (a) or (c),

(b) exercise any power described in section (1), or

(c) make an order under section (1).

Power of seizure

8  An officer may seize anything that that official

(a) believes on reasonable grounds might afford evidence of the commission of an offence or have been used in the commission of an offence, or

(b) finds in, on or at a place or conveyance and believes, on reasonable grounds, to be a subject organism that is held without lawful authority to hold it.

Requirement to submit records and other information

9  The Minister may, by written notice, require a licence holder or other person who owns or is in charge of or employed at a place where subject organisms are held to submit to the Minister, within the period stated in the notice, records and other written information required by the notice that relate or are incidental to the subject organisms or to any operations that are or have been conducted there.

Inspection stations for invasive species

10  (1) The Minister may establish inspection stations on or immediately adjacent to highways for the purpose of carrying out the legislative intent to search for invasive species.

(2) The Minister may establish mobile inspection stations.

(3) Where the Minister establishes an inspection station, the Minister shall, by means of signs that the Government establishes, have its presence identified at the approaches to it so that it is clearly visible to oncoming traffic.

(4) An individual operating a conveyance that is approaching an inspection station that is open for inspections shall stop the conveyance, submit to an inspection and otherwise comply with any other applicable rules.

(5) An official at an inspection station may conduct any decontamination of a conveyance that the official regards as necessary to reflect the intent referred to in subsection (1).

(6) In addition to complying with subsection (3), a person referred to in that subsection in a conveyance shall assist the official to effect the decontamination under subsection (4).

Penalties

11  (1) A person who is convicted of an offence is liable

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $100 000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than 12 months, or to both the fine and imprisonment, and

(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $500 000.

(c) by regulation.

(2) Where an offence of a continuing nature continued beyond a single calendar day, the person who committed the offence is additionally liable to the applicable fine under subsection (1) for each calendar day after the first one on which the offence is held to have continued.

(3) An individual is not liable to any additional term of imprisonment solely as a result of the application of subsection (2) or to any term of imprisonment as a result of conviction.

Fines support programs

12  Upon collection, money may be administered for the purpose of

(a) promoting the proper management and control or conservation and protection of fish or endangered species, or both, or their habitats, and

(b) supporting and promoting programs to remove, destroy, prevent or control the spread of or administer and enforce laws respecting, invasive organisms, or to prevent their establishment.

Schedule 1

Freshwater Dwelling Invasive Species other than Plants or Fish

  Common Name    Scientific Name
1 Zebra mussel    Dreissena polymorpha
2 Quagga mussel    Dreissena rostriformis bugensis
3 Golden mussel    Limnoperna fortunei
4 Channeled - apple snail    Pomacea canaliculata
5 Facet snail    Bithynia tentaculata
6 Asian tapeworm    Bothriocephalus – acheilognathi
7 Spiny water flea    Bythotrephes – cederstroemi
8 Fish hook water flea    Cercopagis pengoi
9 Asian clam    Corbicula fluminea
10 New Zealand mud snail    Potamopyrgus antipodarum
11 Chinese mystery snail    Cipangopaludina chinesis

 
Explanatory Note

This Bill protects freshwater lakes and rivers in British Columbia from invasive species by requiring mandatory inspection of incoming watercraft at British Columbia entry points and prior to entering British Columbia waters. Any boat or vessel arriving from out of province must report to an inspection site. Individuals entering with watercraft must obey signage and proceed to an inspection station. Failure to comply may result in fines and all monies collected in fines must be administered for the purpose of supporting relevant fisheries programs.