Message from the Minister and
As British Columbia's new Minister of Environment, I am pleased to present the ministry's 2005/06–2007/08 Service Plan Update
September 2005. Here you will see how we are continuing to build on our leadership role in environmental protection, stewardship
and sustainable resource management.
Compared to most of the world, British Columbia has a relatively small population, a prosperous society, a sound economic
base and a clean and healthy environment. We have tremendously rich resources, a large and diverse land base and abundant
fish and wildlife. We have a wonderful environmental legacy to preserve in our province.
To maintain our exemplary standing in environmental quality, we are renewing our commitment to ensure that all parts of the
province meet or exceed Canada-wide standards for air quality. We are also furthering our clean air agenda by leading the
implementation of the government's new Climate Change Action Plan, creating more regional airshed plans, and encouraging green
development within communities.
Our quality of life and future economic prosperity depend on a safe and sustainable supply of high-quality water and well-managed
fisheries and marine waters. In this plan we are further defining our approaches to water stewardship, the protection of water
resources, our expanding role in coastal marine management and the sustainability of ocean industries. We are committed to
maintaining public health and safety as well as environmental quality through effective compliance approaches and by protecting
watersheds and marine areas.
We are continuing to pursue excellence in freshwater fish, wildlife and habitat management by promoting stewardship and shared
responsibility. Also, we are working hard to further enhance our parks system and expand the wonderful opportunities they
offer. We are now in a position to invest additional resources in this significant public asset. Our parks encourage healthy
activity and contribute directly to an active and healthy population.
In the 2005/06–2007/08 Service Plan Update I would like to welcome the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). The EAO is
a neutral agency with a separate budget that delivers a thorough and timely review of proposed large-scale projects in British Columbia.
When both federal and provincial environmental assessment processes apply, the EAO leads a harmonized review for both governments.
The environmental assessment process results in the creation of valuable jobs in support of British Columbia's economy while
maintaining best management practices in public consultations and environmental management. During project reviews, the EAO
works with First Nations to facilitate their involvement to ensure the potential impacts on First Nations' asserted aboriginal
rights and title are identified and addressed through meaningful consultation and accommodation in accordance with applicable
policy and legal requirements.
With a strong commitment to environmental sustainability in the decade ahead, it is my job to work with my colleagues and
dedicated staff to see that British Columbia leads the world in sustainable environmental management, with the best air and
water quality, and the best fisheries management — bar none.
The Ministry of Environment 2005/06–2007/08 Service Plan Update September 2005 including the Environmental Assessment Office
2005/06–2007/08 Service Plan Update September 2005 were 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 August 30, 2005, have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives
in the plan.
Honourable Barry Penner
Minister of Environment
and Minister Responsible for Water Stewardship and Sustainable Communities
August 30, 2005