We are on the right trail with the provincial response to UBCM Resolution B121 as the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is currently seeking support from other ministries in order to amend the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations to address the following two highway ORV access scenarios:
- Improve incidental access to highways for Crown land trail systems by further simplifying the process for police-issued operation permit as described in UBCM’s resolution;
- Seeking support for ICBC to develop a new basic insurance product to support increased access to municipal streets by ORV’s; this would require select rural communities to be designated pilot projects, similar to golf carts on roads in Chase.
HOW DO LOCAL COMMUNITIES ENACT POLICY CHANGES?
There are 5 local government area associations that represent the cities, towns, villages, municipalities, regional districts and electoral areas throughout BC. At each area association’s annual general meeting the communities submit resolutions on province wide issues and if endorsed at the area meeting, the resolution goes to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual convention to be reviewed and voted on by all local governments.
If endorsed at UBCM, the resolution is conveyed to the appropriate government ministry. The provincial government takes the recommendations under review and provides a provincial response.
THE PROVINCIAL RESPONSE
When we talk about the laws and regulations regarding ORV use, we use the term ORV Management Framework as there are several different pieces of legislation and regulations that govern ORV use, for example the Off Road Vehicle Act governs use on Crown land and trails, and the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations Division 24 regulates incidental ORV use on public highways.
This also means different ministries are involved as the Ministry of Forests (FLNRORD) is responsible for trails, the Ministry of Transportation is responsible for public highways, and the Ministry of Attorney General is responsible for ICBC so is an intricately developed inter-ministry collaboration.
The provincial response advises FLNRORD is seeking support from the other ministries responsible for the ORV framework to make amendments to the MVA Regulations and develop a new ICBC insurance rate class to keep the existing rate for incidental access with operation permits, and a new rate class that would allow municipalities to open up their streets to ORV use similar to golf carts in Chase.
In follow up to the endorsement of B121, the UBCM Local Government ORV Working Group has been re-engaged in meetings as UBCM is continuing to work with the Province to identify next steps to advance ORV tourism opportunities for BC communities.
UBCM confirms local governments are interested in promoting ORV tourism through greater trail access and connectedness to provide local economic development opportunities for their communities.
ATVBC looks forward to continuing to support local government efforts to expand their local economy by way of ORV tourism… we are on the road to great opportunities!