Ministry 2003/04 Annual Service Plan Report - Government of British Columbia.
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Message from the Minister  
Accountability Statement  
Year-at-a-Glance Highlights  
Ministry Role and Services  
Performance Reporting  
Report on Resources  
Appendix 1: List of Crowns, Agencies, Boards  
Appendix 2: Legislation  
Appendix 3: Regional Offices  
Appendix 4: Other Program Statistics  

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Photograph -- Honourable Graham P. Bruce.The 2003/04 annual report reflects the ongoing efforts of the Ministry of Skills Development and Labour to encourage innovation, productivity and prosperity for all British Columbians in a fair and safe work environment. New laws, significant agreements and extensive reviews were undertaken to provide solutions to a variety of challenges employers and employees face in the workplace.

Government has taken a proactive role leading British Columbia into the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which, along with related projects, will mean thousands of new jobs for British Columbians. A provincial human resources strategy has also been developed to ensure business, education and government sectors maximize opportunities for sustainable economic development in the years to come. A number of construction projects on the Olympic horizon, coupled with continued demands, fuelled further confidence in our economy in 2003. The 57 per cent surge in housing starts over 2002 reinforced this.

This ministry also focused on providing a safe work environment and improving fairness in Workers' Compensation, along with a commitment to significantly reduce appeal backlogs. Workers Compensation Act changes ensured partners of workers who died from workplace injuries received lifetime survivor benefits to help them plan for their future. A task force of senior forest industry representatives was also established to find ways to reduce unacceptable levels of death and serious injuries in this sector.

Employment Standards changes helped remove unnecessary regulation and implemented new rules to protect young people in the workforce and enhance their ability to find jobs. Among the new regulations, specific rules were developed for children working in the film and television industry, setting out how long a child can work in a day or week and ensuring that their incomes were protected.

Government, the agriculture industry and employees entered into a formal partnership agreement in 2003 to help protect farm workers by targeting better working conditions and improving job opportunities in that sector. All interested parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provided for better education of agriculture workers and employers and continued site visits by employment standards enforcement staff.

Government also responded to concerns of the B.C. Film and Television Industry regarding on-going labour relations challenges in the industry with the appointment of an industrial inquiry commission headed by Justice David Tysoe of the B.C. Supreme Court. The report that Justice Tysoe completed in early March has challenged the industry to improve production and employment.

We continue to work with all sectors to make this province the best place in Canada to live, work and invest.

Honourable Graham P. Bruce
Minister of Skills Development and Labour


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