Valley Vision | towards a comprehensive vision for the future of the Bulkley Valley

Northern Health - Public Health Protection

Who are they?

Provincial government agency protecting public health
The Public Health Protection Branch of Northern Health provides inspection and monitoring of activities and premises which may affect the public’s health. Specific programs include: Drinking Water Program, Land Use Program , Air Quality, Food Safety, Recreational Water Quality, Personal Services Establishments, Communicable Disease Control.

Why are they involved in planning?

To provide public health advice to approving officers
Public Health Protection receives land referrals (rezonings, subdivisions, sale/lease of crown land) from approving officers (e.g. local governments or Ministry of Transportation) requesting a statement on the proposed application as it relates to public health issues.

What do they consider?

Public Health Protection Branch assesses land referrals for the following:

  • Ensure the site(s) are capable of supporting safe sewage disposal once the available area is decreased.
  • Assess whether the proposed water system(s) will be private or require a community water system permit.
  • Assess the proposal in terms of its impact on the health of the residents (eg. Is it contributing to a healthy built environment that promotes physical activity) SmartGrowth principles provide a good basis for the issues they look for.

Where do they have jurisdiction?

Everywhere
Public Health Protection Branch is not restricted to type of land ownership or administrative area. They can provide comment on all land referrals sent to them that lie in their geographical coverage area.

It is up to the approving agency whether or not they request comments from the PHP office of Northern Health.

When are they involved in planning?

If and when requested by the approving officer
They are not required by law to be involved. They are involved only on request.

Current Plans and Projects

The Smithers office is planning to work with Telkwa to revise their Official Community Plan. They are willing to work with any agency requesting their involvement.

Challenges

The biggest challenge is workload. Land referrals are not part of their normal business operation.

Links

  • http://www.smartgrowth.bc.ca/
  • http://www.bchealthycommunities.ca/content/home.asp
  • http://www.physicalactivitystrategy.ca/index.php/beat/
  • http://www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/

Contact Information

Name: Shawna Scafe and Darrell Belanger
Position: Environmental Health Officer
email: shawna.scafe@northernhealth.ca and darrell.belanger@northernhealth.ca
phone: 250-847-6400

Information current as of February 27, 2009

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