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B.C. Home  Budget 2005  Message from the Minister and Accountability Statement

Message from the Minister and Accountability Statement

Photograph -- Honourable Michael de Jong.In 2003, after extensive consultation and careful planning, this government unveiled the Forestry Revitalization Plan — comprehensive reforms to revitalize British Columbia's forest sector. In 2003/2004 we brought in the legislative changes to make the new policies work on the ground; in 2004/2005 we started implementation.

Already we are seeing positive change:

  • New and expanded community forest opportunities for 15 communities since August 2004.
  • Market-based pricing on the Coast, resulting in thousands returning to work.
  • Award of first community salvage licence.
  • BC Forestry Revitalization Trust Fund — administered by a board established to assist workers and contractors affected by timber reallocation.
  • Implementation of all Firestorm 2003 report recommendations.
  • Forestry agreements with more than 70 First Nations.

We will continue our two-track strategy of negotiation and litigation as we pursue a resolution to the softwood lumber dispute. We will also continue to support industry in developing new foreign markets through creative, "outside-the-box" initiatives such as Dream Home China.

This year's service plan outlines a continuation of these and other strategies that have already begun to revitalize B.C.'s forest sector. This plan will guide us as we work towards a strong, competitive and environmentally sustainable forest sector in British Columbia.

The 2005/06–2007/08 Ministry of Forests 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 Michael de Jong
Minister of Forests

February 4, 2005


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