The Ministry of Environment will be hosting a series of open meetings seeking public input on proposed new legislation called "The Wildfire Act" to replace The Prairie and Forest Fires Act, 1982, one of the oldest pieces of fire legislation in Canada, which has not kept pace with current wildfire practices.
For Weyburn residents who wish to attend a meeting, the closest one taking place will be in Regina on Monday, June 4 at the Travelodge Hotel (Burlington Room) at 7:00 p.m.
The new legislation promotes the government goals of sustainable economic growth and ensuring public safety in the following areas: Increases efficiency and reduction of administrative requirements; Places responsibility, appropriately shared by government with individuals, stakeholders or other jurisdictions; Enhances protection for public safety and the environment; Clarifies responsibility for wildfire administration and suppression within municipal jurisdictions; Enhances prevention initiatives within wildland urban interface areas; and Administers industrial and commercial operations under a results based regulatory framework.
The ministry began consultations within government in March of 2012 and is now embarking on extensive public consultation meetings during the months of May and June with stakeholders, First Nations and Métis people, industry, municipalities, communities and the public in general.
"The Ministry of Environment is moving forward to address long-needed changes to the current legislation," Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. "I encourage the public and stakeholders to actively participate in the review process and work with the province to develop new and modernized legislation."
Public meeting are not being scheduled during peak wildfire season. Consultations with northern communities will resume in September.
Discussion papers highlighting key changes within the Act and information on the Provincial Wildfire program are available on the Ministry of Environments website at environment.gov.sk.ca.