Series GR-1002 - Administrative records

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Administrative records

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  • textual record

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GR-1002

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  • 1972-1980 (Creation)
    Creator
    British Columbia. Environment and Land Use Committee. Secretariat

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Physical description

Originals, 17.6 m

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Biographical history

The Environment and Land Use Committee Secretariat was established in 1973 as the staff support unit of the Environment and Land Use Committee. The Environment and Land Use Committee (ELUC) was established by the Social Credit government in 1971 under the Environment and Land Use Act (SBC 1971, c. 17). The mandate of the committee was to establish and recommend programs to increase public awareness of the environment, to ensure that environmental concerns were fully considered in the administration of land and resource development, and to make recommendations and reports to the Executive Council. It was empowered to conduct public inquiries, appoint technical committees, and hire experts, specialists and researchers. The Secretariat was established after the New Democratic government was elected in 1972 to provide recommendations and solutions to the committee by coordinating and analyzing interdepartmental studies. It was the first time in B.C.’s political history that a permanent staff served a committee of cabinet. The Secretariat was organized into three units that operated interdependently to improve and apply integrated resource planning within the regional districts of the province. The units were Resource Planning, Special Projects, and Resource Analysis. Under a new Social Credit government in 1975, the Secretariat functioned in a diminished role within the Dept. of the Environment and the renamed Ministry of the Environment in 1976. It was reorganized into two units, Resource Planning and Special Projects. The Environment and Land Use Committee continued as an Executive Council committee but the Secretariat was disestablished in 1980.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Administrative and subject files relating to natural resource development and environmental policies. Includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, briefs, etc.

In 1971 the Environment and Land Use Act (S.B.C. 1971, c. 17) established the Environmental and Land Use Committee (ELUC) as a committee of the Executive Council of British Columbia. The committee was to establish and recommend programs to increase public awareness of the environment, to ensure that environmental concerns were fully considered in the administration of land and resource development, and to make recommendations and reports to the Executive Council. The committee was empowered to conduct public inquiries, appoint technical committees, and hire experts, specialists and researchers. Although little else was done in 1971-1972, the foundation for a full-fledged committee of cabinet had been laid. One of the first actions of the New Democratic government, elected in September 1972, was to utilize the ELUC structure as the basis of a powerful decision-making body. In May 1973, Robert Williams, Minister of Lands, Forests and Water Resources formed the ELUC Secretariat headed by a Director with Deputy Minister status and consisting of three sections with a staff of over one hundred. The ELUC Secretariat was the first time in B.C.'s political history that a permanent staff served a committee of cabinet. The Secretariat conducted studies on economic development, made recommendations to cabinet on the rationalization of resource and land use policies and provided information directly to Ministers. By 1975, ELUC had a membership of nine out of a cabinet of nineteen and was the decision making core of the government as far as resource development was concerned. The work of the Secretariat was thus central to all resource and land use policies. After the formation of William Bennett's Social Credit government in 1975, a formal cabinet committee structure was initiated in all areas of policy. The Environment and Land Use Committee was not part of this structure and the newly formed Economic Development Committee took on the chief role in coordinating resource, environment, and land use policy. Although ELUC was still nominally a cabinet committee, its importance was greatly reduced. The Minister of Environment became the chairman of ELUC and the scope of the Secretariat was diminished. The Secretariat's staff was entirely absorbed by the Ministry of Environment and there were budget cuts. Despite this reduced role, ELUC and its Secretariat were still functioning as a vehicle for advice and recommendations for a coordinated resource development policy. For most of 1978, the members of ELUC were the Ministers of Environment, Agriculture, Economic Development, Forests, Health, Highways and Public Works, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and Recreation and Conservation. The role of the Secretariat was to conduct integrated resource development planning, policy and procedure studies, to implement impact assessments of major resource developments, and to advise on Agriculture Land Reserve matters.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred from Ministry of Environment, 1980.

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Restrictions on access

These records are subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other acts and access may be restricted. Please contact the BC Archives to determine the access status of these records.

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General note

This is a new file list for GR-1002. The previous finding aid was a list of subjects relating to files in each box. This is an actual list of files/items in each box. At the time of the file listing, July-October 1996, box 44 was missing, so the list for box 44 is the old subject listing.

General note

Accession number(s): 88-0056; G80-195

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