BC’s Initiative Process

Initiative is a process through which a registered voter can propose a new law or changes to an existing law on matters over which the provincial legislature has authority.

The voter must collect signatures from 10% of the registered voters in each of the province’s electoral districts for an initiative petition to succeed.

The initiative process is unique to B.C. – no other province or territory in Canada has initiative legislation.

More information on the initiative process can be found at: http://www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/referendum-plebiscite-recall-initiative/initiative/

Our Initiative

An Initiative to Amend the Fire and Police Services Bargaining Act

This initiative seeks to include public sector paramedics in the interest arbitration process used to settle collective agreements for fire and police services without strikes or lockouts. This would be achieved by moving public sector paramedics from their current position in the Facilities Bargaining Association to a renamed Ambulance, Fire and Police Services Collective Bargaining Act.

The essential service provided by public sector paramedics deserves the same interest arbitration and protection given to fire fighters and police officers.

The upcoming election season provides a great opportunity to engage British Columbia’s voters in directing and protecting the future of their ambulance service. It’s your province, and we are your paramedics. Thank you for your support.

FAQ

Q. What is this all about?

A. This is an Initiative Act application to move ambulance service paramedics and dispatchers into the Fire and Police Services Collective Bargaining Act. The amended act would be called the Ambulance, Fire and Police Services Collective Bargaining Act.

Q. Why should ambulance service paramedics and dispatchers be included in the Fire and Police Services Collective Bargaining Act?

A. The Fire and Police Services Collective Bargaining Act protects the public from interruptions to certain essential services by referring all bargaining impasses to binding interest arbitration. This means that ambulance service paramedics and dispatchers would not be allowed to strike, and their employer would not be allowed to lock them out.

Q. How does the Initiative Act work?

A. We will have 90 days, starting on January 9 2017, to collect signatures from 10% of registered voters in each of BC’s 85 electoral districts. If we meet the threshold, the matter will either be referred directly to the legislature, or be referred to a general ballot, where BC’s registered voters will vote on adopting this legislation. We are currently seeking canvassers in every Electoral District in the province. Register here to sign up as a canvasser.

Q. How can I help?

A. Our greatest need will be volunteer canvassers. To register as a canvasser, you need to fill out this form, and send the signed and scanned copy to info@yourparamedics.ca. You can’t canvass until you’ve registered and receive your canvassing credentials.

You can also help out by donating to the cause here.

Q. Is this a Union or CUPE initiative?

A. No, this is not. Only individuals are allowed to file applications under the Initiative Act legislation, not groups or organizations.

Q. I’m a paramedic/dispatcher with the ambulance service, am I allowed to collect signatures?

A. Yes! Any registered voter in BC can fill out the registration forms to get canvassing credentials.

Q. Can I canvass for signatures in uniform?

A. No, it’s important that you don’t canvass or otherwise volunteer any time towards this Initiative while in uniform or attracting a wage from the Employer. We expect the Employer will provide us with, or release themselves, more detailed expectations regarding Employee conduct.

Q. Does this count as unauthorized job action?

A. No, this is not unauthorized job action.

Q. What will the donations be used for?

A. The donations will be used to cover all expenses associated with the Initiative. These include legal fees, IT costs (website, database, email services), print material and promotional costs, and advertising. Elections BC requires a detailed financial report to be submitted following the signature drive, and that financial report will be available to the public.

Q. Are donations tax-deductible?

A. No, Initiative contributions are not eligible for tax receipts, and may not be claimed as a tax credit for income tax purposes.

Please send any questions or comments to info@yourparamedics.ca