Message from the Minister and
It has been another year of challenges for the ministry and the industry. Who could have predicted the agriculture industry would be dealing with the Avian Influenza crisis, the ongoing consequences of the United States border closure due to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, and impacts of Sudden Oak Death on our nursery and landscape industries.
Once again, our agricultural industry has demonstrated perseverance and courage in responding positively to difficult issues. I applaud their dedication.
While the last few years have been ones of unprecedented challenge, there has also been significant progress in a number of vital areas. This year's ministry service plan lays out a clear vision of how we are carrying out our activities to build a stronger and more resilient and responsive industry for the future. We cannot do this alone and we are looking forward to promoting teamwork and co-operation among all orders of government, First Nations, agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries sector groups and communities.
We are pleased to be working with the Ministry of Health Services on the ActNow B.C. initiative to encourage healthy eating. Our future objectives include strengthening bio-security in our poultry industry, fostering stronger value chains in our agri-food industries, instituting new wine quality standards, promoting B.C.'s bio-based economy and developing agri-tourism as we get closer to 2010.
We also see a strong future for all fisheries on the B.C. coast. Our government's position is clear: we will ensure our Pacific salmon are here for British Columbians... today and forever. We are proud of the work we have done this year to influence the federal government to institute significant reform of the commercial salmon fishery.
The 2005/06–2007/08 Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Service Plan was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of January 31, 2005 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.
Honourable John van Dongen
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
January 31, 2005