Message from the Minister and
Accountability Statement

Photograph -- Honourable Barry Penner.I am pleased to present the joint 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plans of the Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). In these plans, you will see how we are addressing our broader mandate and increased responsibilities for effective and responsive environmental management.

We are acting to deliver on the government’s goal to lead the world in sustainable environmental management. To do this, we have realigned the Ministry of Environment, while ensuring the EAO retains its important role as a neutral agency.

The EAO delivers a predictable, open and timely process that considers the environmental, economic, social, health and heritage aspects of projects that help to promote the environmental goals set by our government, while fostering a strong and vibrant economy. During project reviews, the EAO engages First Nations in consultation about asserted and established rights and title that might be impacted by the project, and, where appropriate, identifies accommodation strategies.

The ministry has refocused its vision, mission and goals to better address government priorities and provide responsive client service. We are continuing with the great progress we have made in revising and refining regulations. We will be developing new legislation that is responsive to current realities and resource use and at the same time protects our rich environmental legacy.

To be successful, we have increased our emphasis on fostering stewardship and collaborative approaches to environmental management. This approach will increase our capacity to ensure that the quality of water, land and air is maintained, and that we have a greater role in the stewardship of ocean and marine resources. We are expanding our relationships with governments (federal, provincial, local), First Nations, the private sector, communities and citizens.

To increase collaboration and awareness, we are encouraging information sharing, education and best practices. We are promoting healthy environmental lifestyle choices by individuals and best environmental practices and decision-making by communities, industry and all levels of government. We are working to facilitate the collection of scientific information for informed decision-making. We are providing more education opportunities to encourage citizens to become better environmental stewards and more guidance on compliance with environmental regulations. These approaches will enable us to provide greater client service, which is vital for meeting the needs of all British Columbians, and to ensure a healthy environment.

We continue to protect and manage a wide variety of outstanding parks and protected lands, which represent the best natural features and diverse wilderness environment of the province. We are increasing the involvement of First Nations in the allocation of natural resources through Collaborative Management Agreements in parks and protected areas.

A healthy environment is critical to promoting a healthy lifestyle. To enhance health and an awareness of our natural environment, we are developing new ways to attract greater participation in outdoor activities. We are continuing to develop provincial-wide opportunities for a diversity of high quality and safe outdoor recreation. Providing memorable outdoor opportunities and effective air, water and land management will encourage investment, draw tourists and create jobs. Our support of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games provides us with an opportunity to showcase our world class parks and work with partners and communities to further bolster our growing provincial economy and safeguard our natural legacy for future generations.

The Ministry of Environment’s 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plan and the Environmental Assessment Office’s 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plan 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 February 8, 2006 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

February 8, 2006

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