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Annual Service Plan Reports 2004/05 Home
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Message from the Minister and
Accountability Statement

Photograph -- Honourable Murray Coell.It is my pleasure to present the fourth annual report for the Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services, prepared in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines and the BC Reporting Principles and Criteria.

This ministry is one of the most diverse in the British Columbia government, encompassing and providing direction for a wide range of sectors. What unites the ministry is a common focus on serving the communities of British Columbia in all of their dimensions: social, economic, environmental and cultural.

During 2004/05 we initiated a wide range of programs, following through on our commitment to build safe, healthy communities and achieve full social, economic and cultural participation for British Columbians.

Communities benefited in a substantial way with the announcement that they would be receiving revenues from traffic fines; estimated at about $49 million in 2005/06. This accounts for a funding increase of over 300 per cent in traffic fine revenues going to municipalities, part of a comprehensive strategy to enhance community policing, crime prevention and public safety. The ministry is working with local governments to ensure the results achieved with this funding are included in municipal annual reports.

Another initiative brings long-term benefits to communities. The Canada-BC Infrastructure Program has provided $600 million towards community projects for safe drinking water and waste water management since it was signed in 2000. All funds have been allocated under the Agreement. In early 2005/06, a new $120 million BC Community Water Improvement Program was created and will continue to provide support to communities to improve water management (drinking water, wastewater and storm water) over the next five years.

On April 15, 2005, British Columbia became the first province in Canada to sign a New Deal for Cities and Communities with the federal government to transfer gas tax revenues to B.C. cities and communities. Funding will go to local government infrastructure and capacity projects, for purposes such as transit, drinking water, waste water infrastructure and air quality, that provide environmental benefits for urban and rural communities.

Affordable housing is a key component of strong communities. Over the last year, in cooperation with the federal government, we signed phase two of an Affordable Housing Agreement for a total of $84 million. Through the Agreement, we are partnering with the federal government to provide affordable housing with support services to those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

To build on the momentum of improving housing, I am pleased to serve on the Premier's Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions. The task force is creating a framework for an integrated program to tackle the challenge of mental illness, homelessness and addictions. Housing developments and transitional housing projects in various communities are underway or planned.

The ministry's commitment to Aboriginal people was evident this year through the third annual First Citizens' Forum which focused on youth. Aboriginal people and organizations who participated took the opportunity to dialogue directly with Cabinet members on social and economic issues affecting their lives.

Increased funding to libraries across the province will support a new strategic plan, to provide access to broadband service for libraries in every community, and a province-wide one-card system and virtual reference desk.

With such a wide range of programs and services, ministry initiatives throughout the year emphasized building partnerships - with both the private and non-private sectors, and other orders of government - to meet the diverse needs of B.C.'s communities. Through our commitment to communities, we are building a strong, prosperous British Columbia.

The 2004/05 Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services Annual Service Plan Report compares the actual results to the expected results identified in the ministry's 2004/05 Service Plan. I am accountable for those results as reported.


Honourable Murray Coell
Minister of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services

May 30, 2005


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