Interesting times management

British Columbia's environment ministry hasn't been spared from the upheaval being visited on its dirt ministries. Earlier this month, Premier Gordon Campbell announced the creation of a new natural resource operations ministry which will be responsible for regulation, authorization and permitting in that sector. But natural resource policy making remains the purview of other ministries. In an internal email sent earlier today, environment deputy minister Cairine MacDonald announced that change will result in a reorganization of her department too. "I recognize that transitioning through change can present both challenges and opportunities," she stated, before adding, "We have heard the saying 'may you live in interesting times.'" The following is a complete copy of that email.

From: MacDonald, Cairine ENV:EX
Sent: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 10:11 AM
To: ENV !All

Today I want to introduce changes to the Ministry of Environment's executive structure and where we fit in the realignment of the natural resource sector. The realignment of the sector is designed to provide delivery of integrated and timely services to clients in regions across BC and to support the competitiveness of natural resource businesses while ensuring sustainable environmental management.

This builds on work government has been doing to increase integration in this sector for over three years: changes announced in September highlighted that the ministry needs to focus on the strategic shifts that will influence government and society to address our most significant and emerging environmental, water and ecosystems protection and conservation priorities, dealing with cumulative effects. Finding inter and intra agency efficiencies will help us do that. This remains one of the key drivers for the Ministry of Environment moving forward. Each of us has a role in delivering on this. Each of us is integral to our collective success. Over the coming weeks I will continue to keep you informed of changes which affect our ministry.

Within the broader Natural Resource Sector, the Ministry of Environment plays a key role in:

* Providing environmental leadership for the future through setting environmental goals and associated policy.

* Providing compliance, enforcement, and monitoring functions for a range of legislation.

* Providing client services to the citizens and industry who enjoy sustainable benefits and activities provided by the province's natural resources.

* Managing and administering the province's parks and protected areas system.

The way we accomplish this work is changing and will continue to evolve in all areas of our ministry. Realigning our business functions is just one part of the effort to transform how we do our work. We will continue to align our efforts through inter and intra ministry processes, accountabilities and culture shifts.

I recognize that transitioning through change can present both challenges and opportunities: we have heard the saying "may you live in interesting times". Our approaches will continue to evolve along with the rest of the natural resource sector and across government. MOE's organizational structure is intended to set the stage for greater leadership on policy and enhanced service delivery to partners and clients while providing a clear line of sight of the main business areas.

I am attaching a link to our organization chart. You will see that there are a number of areas and reporting relationships that remain unchanged. They are:

* Environmental Assessment Office - Associate Deputy Minister Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland

* Climate Action Secretariat - Acting Head James Mack

* Conservation Officer Service - Executive Director Tom Clark

* Parks and Protected Areas Division - Acting Executive Director to be appointed : PPA will continue to report to Scott Benton until further notice

* Strategic Policy Division - Executive Director Anthony Danks

* Corporate Services Division - ADM Denise Bragg*
NOTE: the Corporate Services Division will be part of a larger pod serving the Natural Resource Sector. They will continue to provide services to this ministry as they have in the past, with details to be confirmed in coming weeks.

What you will notice is a major realignment of the two divisions headed by ADMs: Environmental Protection, ADM Jim Standen and Environmental Sustainability, Acting ADM Scott Benton. As we bring these new organizations into being, we will provide information to all of the MOE team - both those who came from MOE and those who are joining or rejoining. In these two divisions there has been a major realignment with new staff and organizational units joining MOE from Ministries of Forests, Healthy Living and Sport as well as units moving to Natural Resource Operations and Agriculture. As these are decisions which have just been finalized in the last 48 hours, there are still details to be worked out.

Scott Benton, Acting ADM, Environmental Sustainability

I am pleased to announce that Scott Benton has been appointed as Acting ADM of the Environmental Sustainability Division. I have requested that Scott assist me in establishing this new division over the coming months. We will be filling this position on a permanent basis in the first quarter of the new year through a merit based process.

Scott started his career in government as an auxiliary employee in Cypress Provincial Park in 1978. Since then, Scott has held a variety of regional and Victoria based positions in the fields of strategic land use planning, parks and environmental management. More recently, he has been serving in the capacity of Executive Director for the Parks and Protected Areas Division. During his 33 years with government, he has developed a broad knowledge of the province's resource management and tourism business areas as well as expertise in strategic planning, financial management, legislation and policy development. Scott's educational background is in Outdoor Recreation Management as well as Public Administration at the University of Victoria. He has lived, worked and traveled extensively through many communities in the interior and coastal regions of the province and appreciates the rich diversity of the places and people who make up the fabric of British Columbia. Scott has three grown children and enjoys sailing, skiing and camping.

I am committed to keeping you apprised over the coming weeks. I am delighted to be your Deputy Minister.

Cairine MacDonald
Deputy Minister
Ministry of Environment

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