British Columbia establishes Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship, appoints new ministers, names parliamentary secretary for forests; plan is to build 'new vision' for land, resource management that embraces First Nations, community, industry

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VICTORIA, British Columbia , February 28, 2022 (press release) –

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.


Lindsay Byers
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier

For Immediate Release
Feb. 25, 2022    Office of the Premier
Ministry of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship facts
Government announced in the speech from the throne that it would launch a new ministry to oversee better stewardship and management of B.C.’s land and resources.

This followed more than a year of planning led by the Lands and Natural Resource Operations Secretariat with significant participation from natural resource ministries and in consultation with First Nations and sector stakeholders.

The restructuring is a necessary and natural evolution of land and resource management in B.C. It will allow the sector to build a new vision for land and resource management with First Nations that will embrace shared decision-making on the land base and further integrate key strategic policies. These changes are needed to advance meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, grow the economy and ensure a sustainable environment.  

The Ministry of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship will be responsible for:

  • Developing a path forward with First Nations to build a co-managed land and resource management regime that will ensure B.C.’s natural resources are managed effectively now and in the future.
  • Strengthening B.C.’s commitment to land-use policy and planning to bring more certainty to investors, communities and First Nations by confirming social choice on the land base through inclusive processes led by this new ministry.
  • Provincial leadership on water policy and strategies, including the co-ordination of government’s source to tap strategy to protect drinking water, Coastal Marine Strategy, Watershed Security Strategy and Fund and Wild Salmon Strategy.
  • Development and implementation of a provincial cumulative effects regime and the expansion of environmental stewardship initiatives with First Nations to better monitor, assess and manage natural resource values as B.C. strives for economic recovery.
  • Provincial species at risk and fish and wildlife ecosystem management.
  • Cross Sector Solutioning – bringing together multi-disciplined teams from across the natural resource sector to address key challenges, such as cumulative effects and permitting and authorizations. 
  • Increasing the Province’s capacity to manage for cumulative effects through integration of both science-based land, aquatic, resource and geographic data and traditional knowledge of First Nations so evidence-informed policy and decisions can be made.


Lindsay Byers
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier

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