|2002/03 Annual Service
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
am heartened by the progress we've made — both as a government
and as a ministry — as I take this opportunity to review the
many accomplishments of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
In the agricultural sector, we have worked with industry to encourage
the use of a number of control options for managing animal, fish
and plant diseases and pests. We helped implement an Environmental
Farm Planning Strategy and signed an Agricultural Policy Framework
with the federal government that encourages the use of new public
and private risk management tools.
We have taken steps to reduce the regulatory burden on the agriculture
industry, in line with government's commitment to reduce unnecessary
regulations by a third.
We have also taken steps to improve the aquaculture industry, including
improved escape prevention standards and new waste management regulations
at salmon farming operations. These improvements will allow sustainable
growth in the aquaculture industry and create new jobs in coastal
communities when new sites are approved.
We have also made overtures to the federal government in an attempt
to have greater provincial influence over federal fisheries management
policies. That's a long-term project but one that has been deemed
necessary to improve the fishery and protect jobs.
There are many challenges ahead for this sector of British Columbia's
economy that chalked up sales last year of $5.26 billion, of which
$2.4 billion was exported to other countries. I am confident we
can meet those challenges and ensure that British Columbia has a
brilliant future in the business of providing healthy food on a
Honourable John van Dongen
Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries