|2002/03 Annual Service
Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and
Ministry Role and Services
The Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services was
established June 5, 2001 through the amalgamation of programs from
seven former ministries. Shortly thereafter, work began to develop
the ministry's first Service Plan, setting out goals, objectives,
strategies, targets and performance measures for the 2002/03 to
2004/05 fiscal years. This Annual Service Plan Report completes
the accountability cycle for 2002/03, reporting on the ministry's
performance for the fiscal year, compared to the targets set in
the Service Plan. It also reports achievements for which performance
targets were not set when the plan was developed.
All achievements documented in this report result from the work
of the ministry's eight departments:
- Local Government
- Safety and Standards
- Housing and Building Policy
- Aboriginal, Multiculturalism and Immigration Programs
- Community Services and Culture
- Women's Services and Child Care
- Olympic Bid, Community Initiatives and Vancouver Agreement
- Corporate Services
The ministry is also responsible for more than 30 Crown corporations,
agencies and boards, and for over 40 pieces of legislation. These
are listed in Appendices A and B respectively.
Ministry Vision, Mission and Values
Safe, secure and healthy communities.
Working in partnerships to support safe, secure and healthy communities
- establishing appropriate legislative, regulatory and policy
- promoting and protecting provincial interests by funding performance-based
services for communities; and
- delivering innovative services through e-government and third
party service providers.
- Focus on our clients.
- Create beneficial partnership opportunities.
- Use resources wisely.
- Treat employees and clients fairly and equitably.
- Create a culture of accountability, innovation and excellence.
The following section describes the ministry's eight departments,
including their roles in serving the public, their areas of strategic
focus and, where appropriate, their future directions for 2003/04
and beyond. Information on each department's achievements is provided
in the Performance Reporting Section.
Local Government Department
The Local Government Department is responsible for maintaining
a modern legislative framework and providing focused programs and
advice to British Columbia's local governments and public libraries.
In 2002/03, the department moved forward to develop a framework
for open, accountable and financially responsible local governments
through the Community Charter. This strategic initiative builds
on the Local Government Act to give municipalities greater
powers and new freedom to take action and make decisions that respond
to the needs and priorities of the people they serve.
The department also worked in 2002/03 to change its focus from
regulating local governments to providing advice and focused programming
within a legislative framework that broadly empowers local governments.
The department provides support and service in the following areas:
The Community Transition Division works with local governments
in communities facing serious economic challenges to manage the
impacts of industry restructuring.
The Governance and Structure Division supports implementation
of new legislation, changes to local governance and boundaries,
advises on complex local government issues, and works to build relationships
between local governments and First Nations.
The Intergovernmental Relations and Planning Division supports
community and regional strategic planning, inter-governmental relations
and dispute resolution.
The Local Government Policy and Research Branch supports
the development of local government and safety policy, ministry
legislation and local government programs.
The Local Government Services and Infrastructure Division
supports local governments through statutory approvals, information
and advice to protect the administrative and financial viability
of local governments, infrastructure planning, infrastructure construction
grants, and partnerships with other government authorities to deliver
programs that improve local infrastructure.
The Public Library Services Branch supports public libraries
through grants, advice, and information and training initiatives.
It also strengthens partnerships with other governments, public
agencies and the private sector to foster financial support for
Safety and Standards Department
This department serves the public through two divisions:
Safety Engineering Services is responsible for programs
that encourage safety in the design, manufacture, construction,
installation, operation and maintenance of intra-provincial railways,
aerial tramways, electrical systems, boilers, pressure vessels,
gas equipment, elevating devices and institutional refrigeration
systems. Headquartered in New Westminster, the division operates
from offices in 30 locations throughout the province. As a result
of decisions made through the Core Services Review, Safety Engineering
Services will move to an independent safety authority by April 1,
Office of the Fire Commissioner is the senior fire authority
in the province, responsible for fire safety legislation, major
fire investigation, provincial response to major fire emergencies,
advice to local fire departments on fire protection services, training
and public fire safety education. Services are delivered through
regional offices in Kamloops, Prince George, Cranbrook and Victoria.
Housing and Building Policy Department
This department has two branches:
The Housing Policy Branch is responsible for developing
provincial housing policy, strategies and programs. It also provides
policy advice on specific issues such as the residential construction
industry, leaky condos, housing markets, social housing, homelessness,
housing for persons with special needs, and local government's role
in housing. The branch also publishes research and guides on housing
The Building Policy Branch provides policy advice on British
Columbia's building regulatory system to advance building safety
and accessibility. It administers the BC Building Code, focusing
on the development, maintenance and application of related regulations,
and acting as the secretariat to the BC Building Code Appeal Board.
The department also works closely with two Crown agencies for which
the ministry is responsible:
- BC Housing provides housing assistance programs for low- and
moderate-income households and works in partnership to create
housing options for the most vulnerable in our communities.
- The Homeowner Protection Office licenses residential builders
and building envelope renovators and provides advice and financial
assistance to owners of water-damaged homes (leaky condominiums).
Community Services and Culture Department
This department is responsible for a variety of programs and services
that support the quality of life and self-sufficiency of British
Columbia communities. In 2002/03, it served the public through four
The Cultural Services Branch develops policy and administers
programs to support arts and culture, and provides policy, program
and administrative support for the British Columbia Arts Council.
The Heritage Branch is responsible for preserving historical
artifacts and providing public programs at 30 provincial historic
sites. The branch works with federal and local governments to implement
the Historic Places Initiative — a national register of heritage
The Sport and Physical Activity Branch works with partner
organizations to promote health and well-being by supporting opportunities
to increase British Columbians' access to sport and physical activity.
The Government Agents Branch provides public access to hundreds
of government services in over 50 program areas. Services are available
over the counter, via telephone or fax, and over the Internet through
Community Access Terminals in 58 offices across British Columbia.
The Government Agents Branch was transferred to the Ministry of
Management Services as of April 1, 2003.
Olympic Bid, Community Initiatives and Vancouver Agreement Department
This department focuses on two key initiatives:
The Olympic Bid Secretariat represents the Province as a
member partner in the Vancouver 2010 Bid Corporation. Other partners
are the City of Vancouver, the Resort Municipality of Whistler,
the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Government of Canada, along
with many corporate sponsors. Their mutual vision is to create sustainable
legacies for sport development, host communities, the province,
the country and the global Olympic family by hosting an outstanding
Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010.
The Community Initiatives and Vancouver Agreement Branch
is responsible for the BladeRunners program, the inclusive Olympics
initiatives and the province's participation in the Vancouver Agreement.
The Vancouver Agreement is a five-year agreement among the federal
government, British Columbia and the City of Vancouver. Its purpose
is to improve social and economic conditions in Vancouver communities,
with the first focus on the Downtown Eastside.
Women's Services and Child Care Department
This department has four branches:
The Stopping the Violence Branch is responsible for funding
and administering programs to support community-based violence prevention
projects, counseling programs for women who have experienced violence,
transition house programs for women and children leaving abusive
relationships, and counseling programs for children who witness
The Women's Policy Branch provides policy analysis and research
support to government on issues that affect women. Working with
other ministries and jurisdictions, the branch identifies and analyzes
issues of concern to women including economic, health and justice
The Child Care Policy Branch develops policy and legislation
and provides analysis, evaluation and research on child care issues.
The Child Care Programs Division administers programs that
provide operational funding to assist eligible licensed group and
family child care providers with the cost of providing care. As
of April 1, 2003, it is also responsible for a program providing
subsidies to parents to pay for child care.
Aboriginal, Multiculturalism and Immigration Programs Department
This department has three major areas of responsibility:
The Immigration Division is responsible for managing and
implementing the Agreement for Canada-British Columbia Co-operation
on Immigration. It also works to maximize the social and economic
benefits of immigration to British Columbia by ensuring that the
federal government considers the province's interests regarding
immigration levels, planning, policy and legislation. Other responsibilities
include the design and delivery of the Provincial Nominee Program,
as well as strategic initiatives to support the recognition of foreign-trained,
skilled workers' credentials in the province.
The Settlement and Multiculturalism Branch oversees the
planning, funding, implementation and management of anti-racism,
multiculturalism and immigrant settlement programs. The branch helps
newcomers adapt to life in Canada through contracts with 100 third-party
agencies providing essential settlement services.
The Aboriginal Directorate leads the development of cross-government
programming and policy to increase participation of Aboriginal people
and communities in the life and economy of British Columbia. This
includes identifying initiatives and opportunities for integrated
service delivery, one-stop access to program and service information,
access to social and economic development opportunities, and the
promotion of Aboriginal language preservation. The Directorate also
represents provincial interests in federal/provincial processes
Corporate Services Department
In 2002/03, this department had six branches: Corporate Policy
and Planning, Finance and Administrative Services, Human Resources,
Organizational Transformation and Development, Information and Privacy,
and Information Systems. These branches worked with the Office of
the Deputy Minister and the Communications Branch to provide common
services that support the ministry's programs in achieving their
The ministry's organizational structure is illustrated in Appendix
Ministry Operating Context
The Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women's Services has
one of the broadest mandates in government and is therefore affected
by a wide range of issues. The following section lists those that
had the greatest impact on programs and services in 2002/03.
- British Columbia's economy grew by 1.8 per cent in 2002,
and the Economic Forecast Council has projected growth of 2.7
per cent in 2003. This growth generally supports the ministry's
efforts to enhance the quality of life in communities.
- Population growth has not been equitable across British Columbia.
Between 1996 and 2001, urban centres recorded the highest rates
of growth, while some rural communities recorded the fastest population
declines in the country. These trends are expected to continue
in the future, creating new challenges for both urban and rural
communities, and for the ministry in serving them.
- Changes in technology and the increasing application of computer
software to engineering installations represent an ongoing challenge
for the ministry. The Building Policy Branch and Safety Engineering
Services must work diligently to keep provincial policy and legislation
current for industry.
- Housing construction is contributing to British Columbia's economic
recovery. However, there continues to be an undersupply of rental
housing. The ministry began work on a housing policy framework
in 2002/03 to support continued growth while leveraging partnerships
to create more affordable housing.
- Most parents with young children continue to work outside the
home, creating a continuing need for child care services.
- Women's wages continue to lag behind men's. For example, according
to the 2001 census, women working full-time, full-year earned
70 per cent of what men earn. This underlines the continuing
need for ministry leadership in government to evaluate the impact
of government decisions on men versus women.
- Aboriginal people continue to experience a lower standard of
living than other British Columbians. For example, the life expectancy
for status Indians is 7.5 years less than the expectancy of other
British Columbians. To help support improvements in their standard
of living, the ministry is working to better coordinate services
for Aboriginal people.
- In 2002, 33,874 immigrants landed in British Columbia, many
with little understanding of how to secure housing or access services.
Although immigration levels declined by nearly 12 per cent
compared to 2001, British Columbia retained its 15 per cent
share of immigrant landings in Canada over the same period. Ministry
funding of settlement services helps new immigrants become contributing
members of their communities more quickly.
- Culture, heritage, sports and public library services enrich
British Columbians' lives and enhance their communities. Shifting
economic realities are causing many communities to place greater
emphasis on the economic benefits of culture. Declining activity
levels amongst youth are creating a need to promote the benefits
of sports and physical activity for young people.
- The ministry is leading British Columbia's participation in
the 2010 Olympic Bid. In a February 22, 2003 referendum, nearly
two-thirds of Vancouver voters said they supported the city's
bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. The ministry will be challenged
to maximize the social and economic benefits of winning the bid
for all British Columbians.
- Local governments face many issues such as growing federal government
interest in communities, greater demand for local public services
and increasing awareness of environmental issues, including those
affecting drinking water. The new Community Charter will redefine
relationships between the Province and local governments, and
has generated significant discussion and consultation over the
- In 2002/03, the ministry continued its move from a focus on
service delivery to a focus on governance, consistent with trends
towards centralized delivery of corporate services, and the use
of third-party service providers. This shift includes downward
pressure on budgets and staffing, as well as shifts in strategic
direction, and can be seen across the scope of ministry operations,
in areas as diverse as the Office of the Fire Commissioner, the
Building Policy Branch, and multiculturalism and immigration.
Update on New Era Commitments
In June 2001, the government presented its New Era commitments,
24 of which fall within the mandate of the Ministry of Community,
Aboriginal and Women's Services. Implementing these commitments
continues to be a top priority. Some can be (or have been) accomplished
fairly quickly, while others require ongoing, long-term implementation.
Recognizing this, the ministry's progress in meeting these commitments
is reported here in the following four categories:
- Achieved and concluded (8)
- Underway and on schedule (9)
- Key deliverables scheduled for 2003/04 or 2004/05 (3)
- Another ministry or government body has the lead responsibility
For a detailed progress report on all 24 of the ministry's New
Era commitments, see Appendix D.
Core Business Areas
In keeping with instructions for developing its Service Plan for
2002/03 to 2004/05, the ministry focused its planning for 2002/03
around five core business areas. These are grouped by function (e.g.,
policy services, service delivery). Major programs, clients and
outputs for these areas are described in the Ministry Overview section.
Core Business: Effective Local Government, Aboriginal and Women's
|Programs associated with this
core function include:
- Local Government Services
- Library Services
- Local Government and Library Transfers
- Community Transition
- University Endowment Lands
- Aboriginal Directorate
- Women's Policy
Core Business: Safety and Standards
|Programs associated with this
core function include:
- Safety Engineering Services
- Office of the Fire Commissioner
Core Business: Citizen Access to Government
This core function is provided through 58 Government Agent offices
throughout the province. Government Agents provide access to BC
government services, as well as some services from other governments
and the private sector, through a range of service delivery methods
including face-to-face service, telephone, fax, e-mail and Internet
access through Community Access Terminals.
Responsibility for the Government Agents Branch was transferred
to the Ministry of Management Services as of April 1, 2003.
Core Business: Services for Communities and First Nations
|Programs associated with this
core function include:
- Women's Services
- Child Care Services
- Culture, Heritage and Sport, including the Physical Fitness
and Amateur Sport Fund
- Aboriginal Programs, including First Citizens Fund
- Multiculturalism and Immigration
- Olympic Bid Secretariat
- Community Initiatives and Vancouver Agreement
- Olympic Arts Fund
- Royal BC Museum (funding only)
Core Business: Corporate Services
|Corporate Services support the
delivery of ministry programs. In 2002/03, this area had six branches:
- Human Resources
- Finance and Administration
- Information Technology
- Corporate Policy and Planning
- Information and Privacy
- Organizational Transformation and Development