Furstenau: 15,000 businesses at risk as groundwater licensing deadline passes


For immediate release


March 1, 2022


VICTORIA, B.C. – In acknowledgement of the deadline to register for groundwater licensing in B.C., Sonia Furstenau, leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement:


"Today is the deadline for non-residential groundwater users - such as farms and local businesses - to apply for licences to continue using the water they rely upon. It is likely that thousands will not have completed their applications in time. This is not their fault - it is a failure of this government’s policy rollout, and an example of a systemic problem. This government is very good at branding themselves as ‘here for British Columbians’ but on this issue, this government has not lived up to its responsibility to inform and assist water users.


“Public policy is meaningful insofar as it is communicated and accessible to the public. In this case, the policy change was neither. Until advocates began calling attention to the issue last fall, there was limited outreach from government. People who have attempted to apply have found the process onerous and inaccessible.


“This government has refused calls to extend the application deadline. My colleague Adam Olsen and I urge the BC NDP to waive fees for anyone who might be found non-compliant due to this public policy failure.


“Many groundwater users are located in rural ridings and have been significantly impacted by climate disasters over the past two years. We cannot put this entire burden on British Columbians. This government needs to recognize where we are at, what went wrong, and what they need to do to fix this.”


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Media contact JoJo Beattie

Press Secretary B.C. Green Caucus +1 250-882-6187 | jojo.beattie@leg.bc.ca