2011-12 Annual Report
Statement from the Minister
This Government is committed to delivering and building on its promises. I am pleased to report on the progress made in delivering on Government commitments as stated in the Government Direction for 2011-12: The Saskatchewan Advantage, including taking steps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and services to ensure the best use of public funds.
Aligned with the Government Direction, the strategies and key actions pursued by the Ministry of Environment this past fiscal year, and the results achieved, are communicated to the legislature and to the people of Saskatchewan through this 2011-12 Annual Report. The report describes the Ministry of Environment's key accomplishments in fulfilling our mission to provide public service excellence in protecting the environment and promoting sustainable use of natural resources to enhance economic and social benefits.
Saskatchewan continues to experience tremendous economic growth. To ensure the province is ready to meet the challenges of increasing economic activity and associated population growth, the Ministry continues to make progress on delivering a results-based framework for environmental regulation in Saskatchewan. A results-based approach will enable increased transparency and accountability, more attention to high-risk areas, improved client service and, ultimately, enhanced environmental management.
During 2011-12, the Ministry achieved outcomes that advanced the new results-based approach. Substantive progress has been made on the Saskatchewan Environmental Code, including engaging the people of Saskatchewan in the review of the code's first edition. The Saskatchewan Environmental Code, the first of its kind in Canada, is a clear, concise statement of objectives, recommended practices and alternatives that describe the acceptable environmental outcomes and standards for particular development activities. Once approved, our Government will proclaim four key pieces of legislation that will enable the adoption of the code, which is expected in 2012: The Environmental Management and Protection Act; The Forest Resources Management Act; The Environmental Assessment Act; and a new act, The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act.
This year also saw the launch of the Ministry's new Client Service Office to deliver one-stop support to those who access Ministry services. We continue to develop and implement a risk-based provincial compliance plan that focuses compliance assurance and monitoring on areas of highest priority. We are also reviewing and streamlining our permits and licences to make the application process more efficient and easier for our clients to understand.
Effective environmental management is essential to maintaining the quality of life in Saskatchewan and to ensuring continued opportunities for development. The outcomes achieved in 2011-12, and the initiatives planned for 2012-13, will help protect Saskatchewan's environment and maintain the sustainable use of natural resources for economic and social benefits.