Premier John Horgan has appointed Josie Osborne, Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA, as Minister of Land, Water, and Resource Stewardship and Minister Responsible for Fisheries.
The newly-formed land stewardship ministry was created as part of the provincial government’s commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, protecting the environment and economic recovery, according to a media release by the premier’s office.
“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,” Horgan said. “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.”
Osborne will work with First Nations, local communities and industry to build a vision for land and resource management, according to the release.
Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine, will taken over for Osborne as Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Horgan also named MLA Doug Routley as Parliamentary Secretary for Forests.
Cullen will work with local governments to support their communities as they recover and rebuild after COVID-19 and recent extreme weather events. His role will be to support municipalities in addressing their priorities, from building infrastructure to responding to challenges posed to businesses and neighbourhoods by homelessness.
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.
Osborne was elected to the legislature during the 2020 provincial election. Previously she was mayor of Tofino from 2013-2020.