Title and statement of responsibility area
Environment correspondence and referral replies
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- textual record
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4.3 m of textual records
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Archival description area
Name of creator
In 1991, the Ministry of Environment was disestablished. Its functions were then merged with the functions of the Ministry of Lands and Parks to create a new ministry called the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (OIC 1374/1991).
In 2001 the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks was renamed the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management when the following functions were transferred to the newly established Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection: Environmental Emergencies, Parks and Recreation, the Wildlife Branch, the Environmental Youth Team, the Environment Appeal Board and the Sustainable Environment Fund (OIC 565/2001).
Name of creator
The Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection was established in 2001 when the functions of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks were divided between the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management and Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection at this time (OIC 565/2001). The following functions were transferred from the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks: Environmental Emergencies, Parks and Recreation, the Wildlife Branch, the Environmental Youth Team, the Environment Appeal Board and the Sustainable Environment Fund. The ministries other functions included the Green Economy Initiative; air, land and water pollution control; fish and wildlife habitat and species protection; regulation and development of recreational fish and wildlife management.
The Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection was renamed the Ministry of Environment in 2005 (OIC 450/2005).
Name of creator
The Ministry of Environment is responsible for providing environmental education, promoting the sustainable use of British Columbia's environmental resources, monitoring air and water quality, reducing and removing wastes from the environment, and emphasizing compliance.
The ministry was established in 1975, under its first name, Dept. of Environment, by an Order in Council (OIC 3838/75). The original functions of the Dept. of Environment were transferred from the Dept. of Lands, Forests and Water Resources, whose functions had been split between the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests. Except for matters under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Forests, the department was responsible for water rights, issues such as air pollution control, and the management and protection of water and land resources, including Crown lands. The department was divided into three branches: land and water management, environmental and engineering services, and environmental protection. Later in 1976, the Dept. of Environment was renamed the Ministry of the Environment (OIC: 3199/76).
In 1978, a major government reorganization transferred functions relating to lands and parks from the Ministry of the Environment to the newly established Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing. At the same time, the functions of marine resources, fish and wildlife were transferred from the disestablished Ministry of Recreation and Conservation. Environmental health engineering was transferred from the reorganized Ministry of Health and emergency programming from the reorganized Ministry of Provincial Secretary and Travel Industry. The reorganized Ministry of the Environment was divided into four branches: Land and Water Management, Environmental and Engineering Services, Environmental Protection, and Environment and Land Use Secretariat.
In 1979 the name was revised as the Ministry of Environment, removing “the” (OIC 3018/78, see also RSBC 1979, c. 271). In 1986, the parks function from the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, was merged with the Ministry of Environment. As a result of this addition to its functions, the Ministry of Environment became known as the Ministry of Environment and Parks (OIC 1495/86).
In 1988, the parks function was removed and transferred to the newly established Ministry of Parks. As a result, the Ministry of Environment and Parks was renamed the Ministry of Environment, which existed from 1988/07/06 to 1991/11/04, when it was disestablished. Its functions were then merged with the functions of the Ministry of Lands and Parks to create a new ministry called the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks, existing from 1991/11/05 to 2001/06/04.
In 2001 the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks was divided into the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection and Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management (OIC 565/2001). Both of these ministries existed until 2005 when the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection was disestablished and the Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection was renamed the Ministry of the Environment (OIC 450/2005).
In 2017 the Ministry of Environment was renamed the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (OIC 213/2017).
Scope and content
This series contains the correspondence referral replies of the Ministry of Environment and its predecessors from 1995-2009. Executive correspondence referral replies, also known as minister’s letters, include letters to the executive and their reply letters.
Correspondence deals with a variety of issues related to the environment. Some records record the concerns and complaints from the public about environmental factors, such as the presence of pollution clouds, bad odours or waste in the environment. Others relate to different initiatives and programs proposed by the ministry. A small number of Information Notes and Decision Notes sent internally to executive members of the Ministry are also in the records. There are also letters to the editor written by the Minister to various newspapers in response to articles concerning the Ministry or the environment.
Records are mainly arranged by referral (reference) number with each chain of correspondence filed in its own folder. There are cases in which multiple people wrote in the same complaint or concern; these letters have been filed in the same folder. Records from the Minister’s Office are arranged chronologically by the date of receipt with records arranged into folders by month. Some boxes contain file lists with either a list of the sender/recipient's name and/or the subject of the letter.
The series is arranged by accession number, which contains the records created by a particular office or executive. Currently, the series contains the following eight accessions:
Accession 96-3526 contains the correspondence from the Environment Protection Division of the ministry.
Accession 93-2700 contains correspondence from the Minister’s Office Correspondence Unit. Records consist mainly of interim responses, minister reply drafts sent to the minister for approval and signing, as well as direct replies written by the Environment Protection Division on behalf of the minister.
Accession 95-5840 contains the correspondence of B.C. Environment, Prince George office, specifically correspondence sent, copied or for reply by the Director of Omineca-Peace region, Environmental Protection.
Accession 96-0105 contains the correspondence of the Environmental Stewardship and Protected Areas Division, Lower Mainland Region.
Accession 96-3531 contains correspondence from the Water Stewardship Division, Lower Mainland Region.
Accession 96-3525 contains correspondence of the Environmental Stewardship Division, Lower Mainland Region. All files also contain copies of the original letters received.
Accession 93-0681 contains letters referred to the Minister for reply.
Accession 96-9659 contains correspondence referrals from the Biodiversity Branch with topics mainly concerning wildlife protection.
Accession 95-9854 contains records from the Minister's Office with topics related to environmental protection, environmental stewardship, water stewardship and conservation officer service.
Accession 96-0944 contains correspondence related to the enforcement program and include topics such as investigations into violations of environmental laws, memos regarding BC Conservation Officer Service achievements and misconduct complaints (includes appendices on their powers and responsibilities), letters from animal rights activists, wildlife-human conflicts and general services provided by the COS.
Records in this series are classified under ARCS number 280-30.
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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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Accession number(s): 96-3526, 93-2700, 95-5840, 96-0105, 96-3531, 96-3525, 93-0681, 96-9659, 95-9854, 95-7183, 96-0944