January 26, 2004
Honourable Murray Coell
Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services
Since June 2001, our government has been working to implement our New Era vision to revitalize the economy, restore sound fiscal management, and put patients and students first.
Our New Era platform contained 201 specific commitments that our government would undertake on behalf of British Columbians. These included a commitment to "establish service plans that include measurable performance standards and targets for all programs that are annually audited and published, for all taxpayers to see."
On June 25, 2001, I sent your predecessor a letter of instruction setting out the key priorities for your Ministry, including a list of the New Era commitments assigned to your Ministry. These commitments were also included in the Government Strategic Plan and Ministry Service Plans that were tabled in the Legislature in February 2002, covering fiscal years 2002/03 through 2004/05.
The Service Plan you are tabling today represents the final year of the first three-year plans. And it shows that we have made significant progress toward honouring our commitments. Specifically, of the 12 New Era commitments that involved your Ministry, the province has now completed or begun work on 10 of these. Accomplishments in your Ministry over the past two-and-a-half years include:
- Launched the Independent Living B.C. partnership between B.C. Housing, the health authorities and non-private and private housing sectors, which will develop a total of 3,500 independent living units with support services by 2006.
- Committed funding for construction of 3,400 units of subsidized housing of which 2,600 are completed.
- Established the new independent and self-financing BC Safety Authority.
In the coming year, the province will continue work on a number of priorities to honour the commitments that we have made. These are detailed in your Ministry Service Plan, and include:
- Develop and implement a program to improve aboriginal socio-economic circumstances.
- Continue work to implement an innovative new provincial housing strategy to serve the needs of the most vulnerable.
It is important to note that all of the Province's achievements to date, and our priorities for the year ahead, will be accomplished while balancing the budget in 2004/05, and having significantly increased funding for health care and education.
Clearly, we will do more if we can, as new resources are available, to build on the funding priorities detailed in this Service Plan – in a way that is consistent with our balanced budget commitment.
As our measures to revitalize the economy continue to create new jobs, growth and investment, this will allow us to continue strengthening public services for the benefit of British Columbians. Opportunities like the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will showcase British Columbia to the world and generate economic benefits all across our province. Future service plans will further demonstrate those benefits.
I know that you will continue to build on the progress your Ministry has made. Let me conclude by thanking you for your commitment to serving the best interests of all British Columbians.
Honourable Gordon Campbell
|Province of British Columbia
Office of the Premier
|Box 9041 Stn Prov Govt.