E4D Report: Spotlight on Integrity: An Update on the State of Science in BC

Publish date: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

GLP - Government Licensed Professionals

Scientific professionals in the provincial government play a fundamental role in protecting public health, preserving natural resources, contributing to our economy, and ensuring the safety and prosperity of the people of British Columbia. In BC, these professionals include foresters, engineers, researchers, environmental scientists, and health professionals, among others.

In the midst of a pandemic, the importance of government science is especially clear.  Scientific professionals in our public service are leading the way in the COVID-19 response, and will play a critical role in rebuilding our communities. The success of BC in responding to this crisis would not be possible without their work and effective mechanisms for science to be used in government decisions. Public service science is always important, but this crisis amplifies the way dedicated professionals serve the people of BC.

In order to protect public sector science now and into the future, and to ensure science continues to serve the public, government science must be well supported, completed without interference, communicated effectively, and used transparently in government decision-making. Together these create a strong culture of science integrity in the public service.

This science integrity is at risk in BC.

In our newly released research report Spotlight on Integrity, we found that these necessary steps for science integrity are all at risk at the provincial level. Survey data indicates that many of BC’s scientific professionals don’t have the resources they need to meet their scientific mandates, and have identified barriers to the effective use of science and evidence in government decision-making.  

While strong science and research are always important, the COVID-19 pandemic lays bare the need for strong capacity for doing and using science in our government processes. Now is the time to be investing in science to build our resilience and strengthen our preparedness.  

That’s why, as our decision-makers tackle the important task of rebuilding our communities and safeguarding our futures, we are writing to remind them of the important role scientists have played both through this critical time and before, building up bodies of knowledge upon which evidence-based decisions are being made. 

View the full report here. 

An op/ed on Spotlight on Integrity was published in the Vancouver Sun on June 26, 2020. 

Email your MLA about the importance of the findings of the report. 

In this section

The PEA was formed in 1974, by a group of professionals working in the public sector. The story goes that the founders of the union mortgaged their houses to fund negotiations of the union’s first collective agreement. 

Now, the PEA is BC’s union for professionals. We represent a wide range of professionals including lawyers, foresters, engineers, agrologists, teachers, veterinarians, fundraisers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists program managers, librarians and more.

Our union is led by the PEA Executive. They represent members from across the chapters of the PEA and set the overall vision and direction for our union.

Resources for our members

Navigating a union can sometime be a challenging process. Under this section of the website you will find resources to help you navigate the PEA. In the members section you'll find expense claim reimbursements, information on the PEA's scholarship and bursary program and our grants and donations program.

Collective bargaining and job action resources explain the process of collective bargaining and what to do in the unlikely event of job action. 

Local reps can also find resources to help them complete their job more effectively. This includes ways to welcome new members, how to take notes in investigation disciplinary meetings and more.

The heart of our union

The PEA is made up of nine chapters, or groups of members who either work for the same employer or are in the same field of work. Each chapter has an elected executive tasked with running the affairs of the chapter. Each chapter is entitled to representation at the PEA Executive, the governing body of the union. 

Our members work for a range of employers: the Province of BC, the University of Victoria, St. Margaret's School, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, the Oil and Gas Commission, the Law Society of BC, Legal Services Society, the Okangan Regional Library and health authorities across BC.

Professionals need unions now more then ever

Since the 1970’s, when the PEA was formed, our mission has been to ensure our members can work in safe, productive environments and receive fair and reasonable wages and benefits for the valuable work they do. We help individuals and groups of professional workers to understand the challenges they face in their workplaces and some of the solutions available to them. 

We work with potential members to become certified as a union and achieve the wages, benefits and respect they deserve. 

The Professional | Volume 47 Issue 1

The Professional is the PEA's award-winning, quarterly magazine for members.

The May to June 2021 issue includes a look into what it's like to work within UVic's Theatre Department.

Read the latest issue



The PEA was formed in 1974 to represent licensed professionals in the BC Public Service. Since then the organization has grown to include a wide range of professionals from across BC. Find our more about our governance, staff and strategic direction.

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