January 26, 2004
Honourable John Les
Minister of Small Business and Economic Development
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
nine New Era commitments that involved your ministry, the
province has now completed or begun work on eight of these. Accomplishments
in your Ministry over the past two-and-a-half years include:
- Committed funding under the $800 million Canada-British Columbia
Infrastructure Program for a total of 204 infrastructure projects
with a value of nearly $655 million.
- Continued development of an expanded Vancouver Convention and
Exhibition Centre with the land purchase for the site to improve
the province's ability to compete for visitors from around the
- Led government's strategy to contribute $27.5 million to Genome
B.C. to ensure that world class research at Genome B.C. can continue
and will lead to advances in health care that will benefit all
In the coming year, the province will continue to work on a number
of priorities to honour the commitments that we have made. These
are detailed in your ministry service plan, and include:
- Continue to implement the Heartlands Economic Strategy to promote
economic growth and diversification of British Columbia's economic
- Continue work to develop and implement a strategy to enhance
British Columbia's tourism industry and maximize tourism investment
throughout the province.
- Allocate staff and resources to work at the local and regional
level to identify economic opportunities, work to eliminate barriers
to investment and delivery services and information that entrepreneurs
need to succeed.
It is important to note that all 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
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.