Regional districts: individuals are immune from legal action in their duties

Simply put: PRRD regional directors, employees, officers and volunteers are protected from legal actions related to their duties.

The Local Government Act lays this out in Part 18 (Legal Proceedings in Relation to Local Governments and Other Authorities), Division 2 (Immunities and Indemnities).

Section 738 (Immunity for individual local public officers) defines “local public officers” to include regional board directors, officers and employees of the regional district, volunteer firefighters, volunteers under the supervision of an officer or employee of the regional district, and regional district committees.

Section 738 states that no action for damages may be made against a local public officer or former local public officer related to their duties in their role as a local public officer, except if they have acted with dishonesty, gross negligence, malicious or wilful misconduct, or defamation (libel or slander).

This legislation directly contradicts the message recently conveyed by our regional director.

In the Sept 13, 2017 Lasqueti email list, Director Anderson wrote “NI911 will offer Lasquetians and the Board of the Powell River Regional District protection in the case of litigation. Who are the volunteers that are willing to put their personal lives at risk should an error occur?

In fact, the implication that individual Lasquetians and PRRD Board members may be held personally liable if NI911 is not implemented is simply not true.

Regardless of which dispatch system is used, Section 738 of the Local Government Act guarantees that our volunteer Fire Chief, firefighters, dispatchers and First Responders can rest assured that they are not taking on personal liability risk by volunteering for the department. Same for everyone else involved in our recent interactions with the PRRD (e.g. volunteers on advisory committees, regional board members, and PRRD staff).

LIVFD volunteers fulfilling their duties, using the tools and resources provided, are PROTECTED and IMMUNE from legal action related to their duties. Plain and simple.