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British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (1979-1986)
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Administrative records

  • GR-3830
  • Series
  • 1984-2009

The series contains miscellaneous administrative records from the Ministry of Environment (2005) and its predecessors.
The records document the history, mission and strategic priorities of the ministry and its branches as well as its organizational structures over the years. This includes the reorganization of the Planning and Assessment Branch. Furthermore, as part of a submission to the Enquiry B.C referral service, the records also contain presentations introducing the work of the ministry.

Some of the records in this series pertain to committees or ministerial meetings that deal directly with some sort of aspect of administration. For example, the Integrated Management Committee files located in this series show how the committee was formed and lay out its administrative organization. These records are classified under ARCS 102-20 Administration - Ministry meetings.

Other records in the series include those detailing the meetings between program and regional directors for all programs supported by the Ministry of Environment. These records include agenda items, minutes, summaries of goals and objectives and a review of activities.

The series also contains a Policy Log that assembles a list of memos relating to new policies put in place across the ministry and its branches. A collection of communications plans relates to how the ministry informed staff, the public and special interests groups about the new Bill 50 (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act). The records include memos from FOI coordinators as well as correspondence and information kits meant to summarize changes to information requests.

The series include three 'transition resources books' which were created for directors in charge of announcing the new divisional and branch/regional structure phases to their employees. This restructuring was announced by the ministry in 1996. The briefing books include updated organizational charts, functions, logistics and action plans, employee letter templates, employee lists and minutes from conference calls with the Deputy Minister and meetings with the Senior Management Committee. Several more organizational charts, histories and agreements are included that focus on the transfer of functions of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (MELP) to either the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management and the Ministry of Fisheries. As the Resource Inventory Branch and Aquatic Information Branch were transferred from MELP to the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management, several early documents pertaining to the management of Pacific salmon are included in this series which includes working group files, stock assessments, and discussion papers. This also includes some legal files related to First Nations fishing rights.

A few administrative records stemming from the Environmental Protection Office are also included in this series. Files classified under ARCS 747 - Firearms includes a list of requests to authorize ministry employees to carry and use firearms as part of their work. These requests include the name of the employee, the purposes of their firearm (e.g. personal safety while working in bear country, collection of wildlife specimens, destroy injured wildlife, wilderness survival, scare wildlife, immobilization), description of the firearm (e.g. make/model), authorization signatures and on occasions, a short description written by the application regarding their experience and training in handling firearms. The applications are accompanied by the written policy on firearms.

Additionally, there are Ombudsman investigations files dealing with a dispute for fines issued under the Waste Management Act.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

[B.C. Ministry of Environment footage, 1959-1980]

Footage. Comprises original and workprint (or duplicate) film footage of British Columbia wildlife (fish, waterfowl, and mammals) as well as research projects, wildlife management programs and other activities of the Ministry of Environment or the Fish and Wildlife Branch.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (1979-1986)

Energy projects review case files

  • GR-3852
  • Series
  • 1981-2006

This series contains records relating to assessing the environmental, economic, social, cultural, heritage and health impacts of energy projects under the Environmental Assessment Act. These records were created and kept by the Environment Assessment Office (EAO) that is involved in the entire process, providing advice and recommendations to the proponent.

The records in this series cover initial enquiries, reviewable and non-reviewable project enquiries. A non-reviewable project means that the proposed project may proceed without an environmental review. A project is determined to be non-reviewable if it does not meet or exceed the thresholds defined in the Reviewable Projects Regulation (B.C. Reg. 370/2002). Also, according to the Act (s. 10(1)(b)), a project which meets or exceeds these thresholds may also be deemed non-reviewable at the executive director’s discretion. Non-reviewable projects may also become reviewable if the proponent voluntarily asks for an environmental assessment (i.e., “opts in”) and the executive director agrees (s. 7) or if the minister deems the project to be reviewable.

All other projects which meet or exceed the thresholds are reviewable. For reviewable projects, terms of reference are created by the proponent, in consultation with the review agencies, in order to ensure that the application will contain the necessary information. Reports and studies are typically created by the proponent in order to fulfil the requirements of the Terms of Reference, but they may also be created by any other involved party at any stage in the review process. The application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC) is then submitted by the proponent and once the application meets the EAO’s standards, the formal review process begins. Application review includes: review by government agencies, First Nations, and the public; First Nation and public consultation; a formal public comment period; and opportunities for the proponent to respond to issues raised.

After the application review is complete, EAO staff prepare an Assessment Report for the minister, which documents the findings of the environmental assessment, including the issues raised in relation to the project and how these issues have been or could be addressed. The environmental assessment process concludes when a) The minister approves the EAC and the project proceeds, b) The minister rejects the project, c) The minister decides that no assessment is required, or d) The proponent withdraws the project. An EAC (previously known as a Project Approval Certificate [PAC]) may contain conditions to ensure that necessary mitigative and compensatory measures are in place to prevent or reduce any adverse effects of the project.

The records in this series document the business case for proposed projects, provide initial information to determine if projects meet the reviewable threshold or not, and documents the EAO ruling on whether or not the project is reviewable. Types of records that can be found in this series are certificates of public convenience and necessity, lists of options, applications for project approval certificates, memorandum, letters of intent for cooperation agreements (such as between a First Nations group and the proponent), correspondence, information notes, executive summaries of decisions, project descriptions, lists of environmental concerns (issue summaries), minutes of information presentation meetings, maps of proposed sites and a diverse range of reports and studies. Types of projects that appear in this series include natural gas pipelines, wind turbines, substation redevelopments, electric transmission systems, coal powered plants, hydroelectricity dams and others.

The records from accession 95-4252 and 95-5291 are classified under the Environmental Assessment Operational Records Classification System (Schedule 132564) and cover the following primary number:
30050: reviewable enquiries and projects – energy
And the following secondary numbers:
-05: non-reviewable energy project enquiries
-40: pre-application reviewable enquiry case files

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (2005-2017)

Environmental emergency records

  • GR-3828
  • Series
  • 1985-1993

The series contains the records from the Environmental Emergency Services Branch (EESB) of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and its predecessors. The records relate to the province’s preparedness and responses to environmental emergencies, such as marine oil spills, floods, dam failures, and landslides. The records also cover planning for future management of such emergencies.
Within the records are several reviews, reports and evaluations. One such review discusses the Anderson Report and briefs the Premier on oil transportation and oil spills. It provides an action plan for the report’s recommendations for the provincial cabinet to adopt. There are also reports reviewing and evaluating the Ministry’s response activities during major oil spills including Sooke/Alaska oil spill 1989, Exxon Valdez oil spill 1989 and Nestucca oil spill 1988. Additionally, there is a final report produced by the United States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force as well as an EESB service plan and Year End Review (1991-1992) detailing major activities and accomplishments.

The series also contains a collection of contingency plans for environmental emergencies submitted by different corporations and government services. These include plans for dealing with disasters caused by the mishandling of dangerous goods, such as oil, gas, sour wells, ammonia etc.

Finally, a portion of the records relate to litigation by the province against perpetrators of oil spills for the environmental damage caused. The records include information about the the Rubin Lotus oil spill settlement but are mainly about the Nestucca Barge oil spill lawsuit against Sause Bros. of the United States. The records contain details of the valuation of natural resource damages as well as the out-of-court settlement from which the Province of British Columbia, Canada and the Nuu-cha-nulth Tribal Council received damages. There is also information about the resulting Trust Fund that was established to administer the money awarded through the settlement.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Hatzic Lake flood slides

  • GR-3400
  • Series
  • Jul 1983

The series consists of 23 colour slides created by the Ministry of Environment in 1983. The slides show the effect of flooding in the community after Hatzic Lake flooded in 1983.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (1979-1986)

Information systems project files

  • GR-3796
  • Series
  • 1983-2003

The series contains the records of the System Services Branch of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and its predecessors. The records relate to various initiatives in the 1980s to early 2000s to establish information systems to collect data and make it accessible to the general public. They also discuss central data systems for the use of ministry staff and issues regarding maintenance of these systems. Some records also provide a catalog of existing and proposed information systems within the Ministry.

Types of records include feasibility reports, surveys, research reports, status reports, project overviews, correspondence, proposals, presentations, training resources, information needs report and project assessments.

Projects represented in the series include:

The BC Recycling Hotline: telephone line meant to provide information to callers regarding reducing solid waste, recycling, the proper disposal of hazardous waste and alternatives to environment-damaging products and behaviours. Callers could also inquire about waste management policies, programs in their area and related legislation.

Data Warehouse (DW) project: a repository for storing data produced by BC Environment. Its aim was to improve access to integrated information within the ministry via better technology for storing, delivering and manipulating data by staff. In addition, the data warehouse was intended to serve as a single repository of Ministry data which public can access, particularly in regards to the Forest Practices Code.

Habitat Referral Tracking System Database: a system used to record, track and report on fish habitat referrals received by the Fisheries and Habitat management. Files include a manual for informatics professionals responsible for its maintenance, a proposal from Pangea Systems Inc for the design and development of the system, a training manual, memoranda, and a charter.

Integrated Pest Management Information System: a system that provides information to people about alternatives to pesticides for controlling pests. Includes 1 floppy disk.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS): data regarding locations in BC.

Environmental Protection Program (EPP) information system: includes a proposal from DMR Group Inc., project statement and status reports.

Contaminated Sites Information System: for monitoring data from different areas in the province.

FPC/FRBC Needs Analysis Project: a project to identify the information needs of businesses in the Omineca-Peace Region related to the implementation of the Forest Practices Code and Forest Renewal BC Information. Includes proposed projects and outcomes.

Water Management Branch Information Management Plan: regarding information systems and ongoing projects related to information technology in the workplace.

FRBC/Wildlife: development of a species inventory with data standards for land use planning initiatives. Also initiatives for providing information to the public to assist in preserving biological diversity in BC, including habitat mapping and ecosystem inventories. Records include the project charters, correspondence and summaries.

Detailed Ecosystem Inventory Database: provides a suite of tools to efficiently manage and operate ecosystem inventory projects with the purpose to facilitate the field collection and management of detailed ecosystem data. Records include the project charter.

Species Inventory Database Development Project: a standardized data capture system and provincial repository for wildlife inventory data. Records include a project assessment report.

Integrated Registry Project: a centralized registry that will integrate all previous and multiple systems of registers for land and resource data.

Problem Wildlife Management System: to improve the recording and reporting of problem wildlife information in support of provincial wildlife resource management.

Conservation Officer On-Line Reporting System: for monitoring offences and offenders of fish, wildlife and environmental legislation.

System for Environmental Assessment and Management: computerized data storage and retrieval capabilities for ambient and discharge monitoring results for defined sites.

Terrain Resource Information Management (TRIM) system: its aim was to migrate digital mapping and geographic data into a new relational database management system where by integration, manipulation, distribution and security would be improved. The records from this project are somewhat arranged by project phase (milestones) and include steering committee minutes and agenda, contracts, proposals, reports, reference material on different components comprising the infrastructure of the system.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Land management files

  • GR-3943
  • Series
  • 1976-1979

This series consists of land management files from the Resource Analysis Branch (RAB) of the Ministry of Environment, 1976-1979. The RAB was responsible for environmental data collection and analysis and worked with other branches and ministries to provide data for their projects.

Many records relate to the identification, consultation, review and approval of official settlement plans for various regional districts, including correspondence, plans, and RAB procedures.

The majority of other files relate to project and program request forms received by RAB. Many are not approved, other are completed dead files. There are also files with all project requests for a given year. Records include maps, correspondence, reports and studies.

These records were transferred under one time schedule 871136.

British Columbia. Ministry of the Environment

Ministry of Environment correspondence

  • GR-1682
  • Series
  • 1978-1979

This series contains Ministry of Environment correspondence (Hon. K. Rafe Mair)

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (1979-1986)

Ministry of Environment films and videotapes

  • GR-3364
  • Series
  • [ca. 1930]-[ca. 1985]; predominant 1941-1983

The series consists of film footage, films and videotapes that were shot or produced by branches of the Ministry of Environment, as well as some non-Ministry productions that were circulated by its Information Services Branch. Activities of the Fish and Wildlife Branch and the Parks Branch are depicted.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (1979-1986)

Miscellaneous water management files

  • GR-3797
  • Series
  • 1980-1995

The series consists of three files from the Water Management Branch of the Ministry of Environment and the Water Resource Division of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks.
The first file includes policy recommendations from the Water Management Branch in regard to the Water Act. The records include correspondence and a status report sent by the Comptroller of Water Rights or his assistant to the Minister of Environment. There are also summaries of discussions held by select members of the Water Management Branch and its legal consultants in regard to proposals for amendments to the Water Act. These records are dated 1980.

The second file contains records from the British Columbia/Alberta technical advisory committee in regard to the Transboundary Water Management Agreement. The records include correspondence from ministers, public servants and BC Hydro and also include meeting minutes, agendas, executive summary reports on various issues regarding transboundary water matters, such as hydro dams and flooding of rivers that flow in both provinces.

The file includes records related to the Water Resource Pricing program. The program's aim was to manage water shortages, reduce inefficient water use and encourage water conservation through a water pricing framework based on consumption and supply. The records include summary reports, agendas, a consultant’s report on cost analysis and a discussion plan for a Water Pricing Workshop.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment (1979-1986)

Public health water plan indexes

  • GR-3547
  • Series
  • [ca. 1920-1979]

The series consists of an index to the water system engineering drawings in GR-3546. The index is arranged by name of applicant and numerically by plan number. The applicant index covers the years 1920 to 1989. The numerical index covers the years 1967 to 1989.

The series also includes three additional files. Letters of acknowledgement consists of correspondence with applicants between the years 1966-1983. The water systems and microfilm files detail updates to the index and the microfilming of the original plans.

The following government offices were responsible for creating these plans:

Provincial Board of Health 1920-1946
Dept. of Health and Welfare 1946-1959
Dept. of Health Services and Hospital Insurance 1959-1973
Dept. of Health 1973-1976
Ministry of Health 1976-1979
Ministry of Environment 1979-1989

British Columbia. Provincial Board of Health

Records relating to the Women’s Action Plan

  • GR-3829
  • Series
  • 1983-1987

The series contains records created and accumulated by the Ministry of Environment and Parks and its predecessors related to women’s programs in government. These records were created as part of an initiative by the Canadian federal government to reflect on the status of women and by the BC government to reflect on opportunities available to female public servants during the United Nations Decade of the Woman (1975-1985). As such, the provincial government asked each ministry to create a Plan of Action for women working in their ministry that would encourage training, development, career planning and awareness of women’s working conditions. The objective was to encourage women to apply for management or other high-level positions within the public service. This series contains records relating to the creation of the Ministry of Environment Women’s Action Plan. There are also a small number of Action Plan documents from other ministries that appear to have been used as reference by the Ministry of Environment.

These records include minutes, discussions, memos, reports and correspondence from the Women’s Advisory Committee and the Task Force on Women in the Ministry of Environment who were tasked with making recommendations and reporting on achievements. Highlights include the establishment of the Women’s Resource Library, discussions on work schedule alternatives, ideas for programs and development opportunities, resources regarding abuse, workshops, maternity leaves and a mentorship program.

The records also contain some publications relating to the issue, including several BC Women’s Programs Newsletters, Juggling a Family and a Job (1983) and Women in British Columbia: a Plan for Progress (1986).

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment and Parks

Reference maps

  • GR-3813
  • Series
  • 1932-1995

The series contains a collection of maps used as reference in office of the Integrated Land Management Bureau and its predecessors from various ministries responsible for lands. These particular maps were transferred from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Lower Mainland office in Surrey, B.C. The maps were produced by the surveys and mapping branch of the Ministry or its predecessors and cover a variety of areas in British Columbia.
The maps detail many features including roads, trails, railways, powerlines, reserved lands, surveyed lands, boundaries, campgrounds, mines, historic monuments, lighthouses, survey control stations, Forest Service lookouts, communications towers, customs offices, airports and airstrips, heliports, seaplane landings, buildings, elevations, dykes, contour swamp/marsh, intermittent lake/seasonal inundation, mud, sand, gravel, glaciers and icefields. Some maps also detail telephone lines, wells, falls, rapids, dams, cliffs, mile posts, orchards and even land lots.
The dates the maps were published do not necessarily coincide with when the data was collected to create those maps. Usually this information is present in the publication information at the bottom or top of each map. The maps would have held important reference information to Ministry workers and were probably consulted frequently. Several maps have annotations marking plots of land, new features, and other notes. Many of the maps are part of composites which can be placed next to each other to create larger maps. It is for this reason that it is believed that some duplications of the maps in this series exist. Most of the maps are topographical; however there are a few maps detailing lots and land registration as well as a few water source maps from the Water Management Division. Maps are printed on paper except for a few which are on Mylar. Maps do not appear to be arranged in any discernable order.

Maps of the following cities and areas are included in this series:
Alert Bay (1956, 1965, 1976)
Ashcroft (1966, 1975)
Boston Bar (1957)
Bowen Island
Bridge River (1970, 1979)
Bute Inlet (1960, 1970, 1991)
Buttle Lake (1977)
Campbell River (1981)
Cheakamus River (1969)
Chilliwack (1959)
Chilliwack Lake (1983, 1986, 1995)
Comox (1956)
Elko (1962)
Haslam Lake (1967)
Hope (1957, 1968)
Kamloops (1979,
Kamloops Lake (1979, 1995)
Kennedy Lake (1975)
Langley (1967, 1978, 1979)
Lardeau (1973)
Lillooet River (1979
Lytton (1968, 1979)
Manning Park (1960)
Merritt (1980)
Mount Urquhart (1955, 1960)
Mount Waddington (1968)
Nootka Sound (1960)
Pemberton (1951, 1972)
Pitt River (1973)
Port Alberni (1976)
Princeton (1980, 1995)
Revelstoke (1932)
Scuzzy Mountain (1956)
Shuswap Lake (1968)
Skagit (1960)
Spuzzum (1957, 1967)
Squamish (1952, 1972, 1982)
Sugar Lake (1956)
Texada Island (1950)
Toba Inlet (1979)
Tulameen (1958, 1978, 1986, 1995)
Vancouver (1959, 1975)
Victoria (1968)
Whistler (1993)
Yale (1966, 1976, 1979, 1995)

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Treasury board submissions

  • GR-3868
  • Series
  • 1984-1990

This series contains various submissions from the Ministry of Environment and Parks and its predecessors. Records are predominantly from the 1980s and record various offices of the ministry asking the Minister to release funds for various projects and contract work (ministerial submissions). There are also Treasury Board submissions and Deputy Minister submissions which were submitted to the Deputy Minister asking for permission to call for tenders. Copies of approvals were received by the submitting ministry from the Ministry of Finance, copies of which are also found in this series.

The records also contain two large computer print-outs of year-end invoice reports which are labeled and presumably originate from the Ministry of Regional Development.

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment and Parks

Water licence litigation files

  • GR-3814
  • Series
  • 1985-2001

The series contains the records related to major lawsuits against the Province of British Columbia and/or Canada by water export companies after the latter were refused water licenses for the bulk export of fresh water from Tzela Creek, Toba Inlet to international markets via marine tankers. The companies involved include Snowcap Waters Ltd., Sun Belt Water Inc. and Aquasource Ltd. who sought compensation for lost business opportunities.

The records provide background information to the suits, copies of documents used as evidence including correspondence, reports, environmental assessments, water licence applications, letters of concern from First Nations solicitors, copies of news articles and press coverage, letters from the public, copies of permits, project summaries and court documents.

These records originate from the offices of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (Water Stewardship Division).

British Columbia. Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

Water rights plans

  • CM/S5-7
  • Series
  • 1892-1981

Introduction: Throughout its existence, the Water Rights Branch (WRB) acquired and created a large central set of plans, maps, and engineering drawings which was assigned a single set of sequential water rights plan numbers. Over time, the original plan series was divided into separate sub- series for the use of particular operational units. The topics documented in the series and in each sub- series are discussed in the scope and contents notes below. The plans are listed in plan number and water rights district order in the series list which follows this overview. The structure and contents of this list are explained in the arrangement section below. Scope and Content: The water rights plans series documents a broad range of WRB activities. It includes: plans and engineering drawings submitted to the WRB by individuals, corporations, and municipalities as part of their applications for water licences or for approval of works; survey plans and maps prepared by WRB field engineers and regional engineers in support of licensing activities, irrigation studies, water power investigations and dam inspections; general reference maps used by WRB staff; and a variety of charts, graphs, and other items used for WRB functions such as stream measurement and precipitation monitoring. Taken as a whole, this series constitutes a wealth of often highly detailed cartographic information on regions and communities throughout British Columbia- - information which in many cases is not available elsewhere. Of particular interest are early large- scale maps and plans which provide extensive topographic information and vegetation notes for many areas of B.C. well before those areas were covered by standard topographic maps, including areas which were later flooded due to dam construction. As well, some of the early plans of towns and of agricultural, commercial, and industrial sites include such detailed cultural and cadastral information as the location and identity of buildings and the names of property owners affected by proposed water projects. And of course, the series contains invaluable documentation of specific major hydro- electric, irrigation, and waterworks projects in the form of site plans and engineering (structural) drawings. The series' value is enhanced by the fact that many of the items contain numbers which can be used to link the items with related records such as water records, conditional and final licences; correspondence files, water rights and reference maps, field notes, and a variety of reports. The water rights plans received by BC ARCHIVES consist of three main sub- series that have been separated from the plans held at the Water Management Branch. To a large extent the topics and document types described above are found in all of the sub- series but each sub- series does exhibit certain characteristics which reflect its provenance. Arrangement: Although the Water Rights Plans consist of three distinct sub- series, a single comprehensive list of the items has been compiled for the convenience of researchers. In part one of this series list, the item descriptions are arranged sequentially according to the water rights plan numbers. In part two, the list is sorted geographically, according to the water rights districts in existence at the time the various items were filed. Researchers should note that the BC ARCHIVES series list is based primarily on the original Water Rights Branch plan registers (see BC ARCHIVES reel B1949 for a microfilm copy) rather than on the items themselves. The dates given in the list are the dates of filing and the descriptions presented are close (but not exact) transcriptions of the descriptions in the registers. The registers also often contain information not transcribed into in the BC ARCHIVES list such as the plan origins, creator names, material types, and numbers identifying related records. The creator names, in particular, can sometimes be used to link the plans with other records produced by the same creator such as the early regional engineers' reports published in the annual reports of the WRB. Since the water rights plan numbers were assigned sequentially, part one of the BC ARCHIVES series list is in chronological order. However, a single plan number often covers numerous individual items and the date of the items themselves sometimes does not match the date of filing. Similarly, the descriptions usually refer to the items originally filed under a given plan number. In some cases not all of the items pertaining to a number were transferred to BC ARCHIVES and in a few cases it appears that the original items filed under a given number were replaced by later plans pertaining to the same general topic. Therefore, while the list usually provides researchers with a strong indication of the types of items found under a plan number, it is necessary to consult the items themselves, using the call numbers provided in the list, in order to determine the precise nature of their contents. The items are physically arranged in call number order within each of the sub- series. Separate lists of each sub- series can be made available, but the sub- series origin of any particular item in the main list can be readily determined by consulting the item's call number against the chart at the beginning of the list.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works