The section of the policy in question is:
"Caches in protected areas must not be considered "permanent" by the cache owner. Caches must be removed once the cache is no longer being actively sought or within three years, whatever comes sooner."
I think this is quite clear. If a geocache is not "actively being sought" it will be considered abandoned and thus the park ranger may ask the cache owner to remove it. The policy does not clearly state what "actively being sought" is but it will most likely be the discretion of the Park Ranger.
Although BC Parks acknowledge that geocaching has minimal impact on the environment, there is a concern that over time the act of many people seeking a given geocache may impact the surrounding flora. For this reason there is a three year time limit on a cache placement in protected areas.
Provincial Parks fall into protected areas under "THE PROTECTED AREAS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA ACT.
So, a cache should be voluntarily removed by the cache owner and archived after three years.
Having said that, there is no reason the cache owner cannot move the same cache a reasonable distance down a trail and set it up as a new cache.
Several park rangers have contacted groundspeak to alert cache owners to remove old geocaches. These caches were placed before the policy was enacted and the park rangers do not know who actually hid the cache. Groundspeak is currently involved with contacting cache owners.
These guidelines are most likely in place to keep the cache owner responsible for the caches they hide. It will hopefully curb people planting caches they do not intend to maintain.
Whether all park rangers will strictly enforce the three year rule remains to be seen but as responsible cachers, we should do our best to abide by the guidelines set by BC Parks.
This is how I see the wording of the attached document. It doesn't insinuate, to me, that a cache may be permitted longer than three years. I will be meeting with BC Parks next week and I will get the final word directly from the horse's mouth.