Responding to continued concerns about air quality in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley, AirCare will continue to December 31, 2014, and then end for passenger cars and trucks to allow for a full examination of the program's future direction and focus.
Canal Flats will soon have a new park for residents to enjoy, thanks to a Crown land grant from the provincial government through the Sponsored Crown Grant Program. The park will feature trees, pathways, grassed areas, benches, a public washroom, a tourist information kiosk, and a memorial wall.
With the view to nurturing and expanding kids' appreciation and understanding of the natural world, BC Parks introduced a text-to-donate program to contribute funds to new kids programs.
As a part of a six-year project to recover lake trout in Moberly Lake, 14,000 juvenile trout were released by residents and school children. The release is a partnership between the provincial government and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.
The Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act will begin the implementation of the Atlin Taku River Land Use Plan by establishing 10 new conservancies and adding land to the existing Atlin Provincial Park. The new conservancies and additions to Atlin Provincial Park will add more than 413,000 hectares to the province's protected areas system.
Our government provided $1 million in funding for Experience the Fraser, a unique vision to connect communities, parks, historic and cultural sites and other points of interest along the Lower Fraser River.
Environment Minister Terry Lake announced the 22.3-hectare area situated in the Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone on Salt Spring Island is now protected. A joint agreement between BC Parks and The Nature Trust to purchase the privately owned land will protect animals in the area, as well as the largest stand of Garry oak woodland in Canada.
Our government reaffirmed its commitment to being the first carbon-neutral government in North America through a new $5-million capital program that's available to school districts for energy-efficiency projects that will lower their carbon emissions.
All proposed waste to energy (WTE) recovery facilities in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley will be subject to a full, mandatory environmental assessment. These standards are among the most stringent in the world and will continue to protect air quality in the Fraser Valley.
Our government established a Tsunami Debris Coordinating Committee in January 2012 that’s jointly chaired by the province and the Government of Canada. In March, B.C. also signed an agreement with California, Oregon and Washington to develop a joint communication strategy, share safety protocols for volunteers and work with the Japanese government.
Our government is providing over $1.7 million in new grants to control the spread of invasive plants. The 28 grants are being given to local governments, Regional Weed Committees and the Invasive Species Council of BC to assist their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program. This funding is in addition to the $714,000 already earmarked by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2012-13.
BC Parks is getting an extra $3 million for the 2012 capital budget, a 27 per cent increase. Almost $14 million is funding projects directed at attracting young families, offering new recreation opportunities, improving accessibility, and increasing attendance.
Part of a commitment to support greater access to communications technologies for people with disabilities, our government is funding the Communication Assistance for Youth and Adults (CAYA) project, with $5.7 million over the next three years, bringing the total provincial contribution to more than $15 million since 2005.
Our government is providing further support for the BC Living Rivers Trust Fund with a $1 million injection for their core programs. This is in addition to the $21 million given to the organization between 2002 and 2006.
B.C.'s popular Clean Energy Vehicle (CEV) Program received an extra jolt from the implementation of the $2.74-million Community Charging Infrastructure Fund. The fund will see 570 public charging stations across municipalities, regional governments, First Nations, and B.C. businesses and institutions by March 31, 2013.
All of Avatar Grove, a unique stand of old-growth cedars near Port Renfrew, is now protected in an expanded old growth management area, preserving the unique ecosystem for the enjoyment of all British Columbians.