Message from the Minister
and Accountability Statement

Photograph -- Honourable Ida ChongIt is my pleasure to deliver the service plan for the Ministry of Community Services.

Our mandate is to promote sustainable and liveable communities that provide healthy and safe places for British Columbians. This plan outlines what the Ministry will achieve in the coming year to move further toward our vision of ensuring British Columbia's communities are great places in which to live. In addition, this plan supports efforts to achieving the Government of British Columbia's Five Great Goals and our Pacific Leadership Agenda which includes creating vibrant, connected communities that are both socially responsive and environmentally sustainable.

We continue to assist British Columbia communities to strengthen their infrastructure and improve services they provide to their citizens. Our commitment includes a doubling of our small community and regional district grant programs; our support of cost-sharing opportunities, such as our Canada/B.C. Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund so communities have clean drinking water and improved wastewater treatment; and our work with the Union of B.C. Municipalities to implement the Federal Gas Tax Transfer and Public Transit Agreements supporting a range of environmental objectives. Through a new LocalMotion initiative that supports cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, we are improving physical fitness and air quality and building healthier communities. Through our new Green City Awards, we are recognizing innovative communities that are leading the way in encouraging smart growth, physical fitness and energy conservation. The new B.C. Spirit Squares initiative will help create new public spaces in the province's communities. And, we are making new investments in B.C.'s smallest municipalities through the Towns for Tomorrow program and in tourism-based communities through revenue sharing with resort municipalities.

The Ministry also works with local governments and the federal government to put in place urban development agreements, and continues to support implementation of the tri-partite Vancouver Agreement. We have a key role in the implementation of the 2010 Winter Games Inner-City Inclusive Commitments, working with relevant partner ministries and signatories to the 2010 Winter Games Bid to bring benefits to Vancouver's inner-city neighbourhoods.

An issue common to all British Columbia communities is the need to adapt to an aging population. The Ministry will lead and coordinate government's response to the recommendations of the Premier's Council on Aging and Seniors' Issues, to ensure that British Columbia is prepared for the coming demographic change, and able to support opportunities for seniors to remain independent and engaged in their communities.

The Ministry continues to support violence prevention and intervention services for women, and their children, who have experienced abuse including transition house services, safe houses, second stage housing, counselling and many new outreach services to connect vulnerable women with the services they may need. Last year, over 70 British Columbia communities developed and initiated new or enhanced violence prevention initiatives for women under the Community Action for Women's Safety grants. These grants focused on improving the safety of Aboriginal, immigrant and visible minority women, as well as older women and women with disabilities. We continue to provide a variety of supports for women at risk and with this year's Partners in Prevention grants we are supporting projects that prevent violence against women and girls by focusing on attitudes that lead to violence.

To enhance women's opportunities to build brighter futures, the Ministry will examine and strengthen options for supporting women's participation in the economy, beginning with the review of four pilot projects through Empowered to Work, a mentoring program for women entering, re-entering or transitioning in the workforce.

I am committed to each of these initiatives, working to ensure British Columbia communities are, now and in the future, great places in which to live.

The Ministry of Community Service 2007/08 – 2009/10 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 12, 2007 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.

Honourable Ida Chong FCGA
Minister of Community Services
and Minister Responsible for
Seniors' and Women's Issues

February 12, 2007

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