Premier John Horgan has appointed Josie Osborne as Minister of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship and Minister Responsible for Fisheries, and Nathan Cullen as Minister of Municipal Affairs. Premier Horgan has also named MLA Doug Routley as Parliamentary Secretary for Forests to support the important work of Minister Katrine Conroy to modernize forestry in British Columbia.
“The new ministry for land stewardship reflects the fact that natural resources are foundational to our province and they are the backbone of many local economies,” said Premier Horgan. “Minister Josie Osborne’s experience and skill will help government bring more predictability to the land base, while protecting B.C.’s natural heritage and ensuring the benefits are shared more widely now and in the future.”
The establishment of the Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship follows government’s commitment on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, protecting B.C.’s environment and building a strong economic recovery that works for people. Osborne will work with First Nations, local communities and industry to build a vision for land and resource management that will embrace shared decision making on the land base and to build certainty and create further opportunity for everyone.
As Minister of Municipal Affairs, Cullen will work with local governments to support their communities as they recover and rebuild stronger after COVID-19 and extreme weather. Cullen will support municipalities to address their priorities, from building infrastructure to responding to challenges posed to businesses and neighbourhoods by homelessness.
“By working together and putting people first, we have laid the foundation for B.C. to come through these challenging times even stronger,” said Premier Horgan. “The people of B.C. can count on Josie, Nathan and Doug to work hard every day to deliver on our commitments to build a stronger B.C. where no one is left behind.”
The fisheries, aquaculture and wild salmon files will be moved under the new ministry. Fin Donnelly, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Aquaculture, will work with Osborne, while continuing his collaboration with federal, First Nations and local governments to protect fish habitat.
A backgrounder follows.