Message from the Minister and
As Minister of Employment and Income Assistance, I am pleased to present the Service Plan for 2006/07–2008/09, outlining our goals and objectives over the next three years. Our government is committed to providing a fair, caring and sustainable income assistance system for British Columbians most in need and helping people who are able to work to find and keep jobs. With our success in assisting so many people in leaving the caseload, the ministry is working to ensure that our programs and services continue to meet the needs of our clients.
We are redesigning our employment programs so our clients can get the services they need to benefit from B.C.’s strong economy — and succeed. The new B.C. Employment Program, which will be launched this year, will help expected to work clients in finding and keeping employment through job referral, placement, workshops and supervised self-directed job searches. For those clients with significant barriers who are not ready to enter a job or take part in an employment program, we will continue to offer a separate Community Assistance Program to provide basic life skills training.
Our transition to new programming recognizes that the ministry’s caseload has changed significantly in number and composition. The number of people who are expected to work has dropped and those who remain on the caseload have greater challenges. Today, a full two-thirds of our clients are people with serious barriers to employment or disabilities.
The Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance is taking a leadership role across government to support our Third Great Goal for a Golden Decade to build the best system of support in Canada for persons with disabilities, those with special needs, children at risk and seniors. We want British Columbians with disabilities to have the assurance of stable support they can depend on while enjoying opportunities in the workforce, as they are able, to fulfill their dreams and actively participate in their communities. During the upcoming year we will continue to consult with service providers, clients, stakeholders and staff to improve our employment programs for persons with disabilities.
We are also continuing our support for government’s goal to lead the way in North America in healthy living and physical fitness. This year we will be working with other ministries, other levels of government and community organizations to provide programs and services that make a real difference in people’s lives.
I look forward to working together with ministry staff to achieve our goals and I would like to take this opportunity thank them for their hard work, ongoing dedication and professionalism.
The Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance 2006/07–2008/09 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 February 10, 2006, have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.
Honourable Claude Richmond
Minister of Employment and Income Assistance
February 10, 2006