Revitalizing British Columbia's natural resource sector is a key component of revitalizing the economy. The Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management was created by our government to play a critical role in this process. Three years from its inception, I am pleased to report that the ministry has taken great strides to encourage sustainable economic development of Crown land and resources.
As the lead provincial agency responsible for land-use planning, strategic policies and information concerning our publicly held natural resources, we have been entrusted with the task of striking a balance between economic growth and environmental integrity.
A number of land-use plans have been completed and we are seeing their value in helping to increase certainty about the land base, which in turn is resulting in economic growth and other social benefits. Enabling legislation has been completed for the Working Forest Initiative. The ministry has also been working with the business community to help bring a sustainable resource management approach to the resource sector.
The ministry works closely with First Nations to pursue economic development opportunities, and negotiates and manages economic measures agreements. Consulting on and accommodating First Nation interests is integral to that relationship.
Three years of effort on the integration and delivery of registry and resource information are helping to improve business and government decision making. More information is available electronically, and innovations such as the presentation of much of this information in map form will make it more valuable and easier to use. The ministry has also made good progress in shifting to a greater use of partnerships in providing its registry and resource information services. Over 20 partnerships have been developed this year with the private sector and governments at all levels. Furthermore, the ministry completed policy analysis during the year concerning a proposal to establish an independent authority to operate the Land Titles Office and Surveyor General's Office which was announced on May 13, 2004.
Similar strides are being made in introducing performance-based regulations and in supporting other ministries in doing so through land-use planning and legislative changes. Reviews of land and water pricing regimes have been completed and a number of reviews of property assessment issues are underway.
All of these strategies are improving tenure certainty, the business climate and access to markets and investment.
Since assuming responsibility for this ministry on January 26, 2004, I have found the work with this ministry rewarding and look forward to the upcoming challenges. I'm pleased to provide this third annual report outlining the progress we've made in laying the foundation for a sustainable future.
Honourable George Abbott
Minister of Sustainable Resource Management
Message from the Minister of State
As Minister of State for Resort Development, I am responsible for developing a strategy to promote resort development across British Columbia.
The BC Resort Task Force was formed to enhance resort development partnerships in British Columbia and to identify and eliminate barriers for new and expanding resort development that is consistent with the principles of sustainable resource development. The B.C. Resort Task Force has been working with resort communities, First Nations and local government to ensure that British Columbia's resort potential is fully realized. The Task Force has held more than 100 face-to-face meetings, reviewed all acts and regulations that affect resort development, and mapped the resort development process.
Since being appointed Minister of State for Resort Development on January 26, 2004, I have begun work on a number of priorities for 2004/05 and beyond, including:
- developing a strategy to increase the number of Crown land sites available for resort development and presenting it to the Cabinet Committee on Environment and Resource Development;
- developing a consolidated inter-agency policy for resort development approvals, including associated recreation permitting that encourages private sector investment across British Columbia, and presenting it to the Cabinet Committee on Environment and Resource Development; and
- developing an action plan to address the recommendations of the B.C. Resort Task Force and presenting it to the Cabinet Committee on Environment and Resource Development.
British Columbia's all-season resorts are recognized throughout the world for the diversity and superiority they offer to their guests. Resorts represent enormous economic opportunities for the people of B.C. and most importantly, the communities that surround them.
Honourable Sandy Santori
Minister of State for Resort Development