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Municipal Affairs and Environment Mandate Letter 2017

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Office of the Premier
November 15, 2017

The Honourable Eddie Joyce
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment
Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change
Minister Responsible for the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board Registrar General

Dear Minister Joyce:

It has been my pleasure to work with you in Cabinet since December 2015. I am honoured that you have agreed to serve the people of our province in a new capacity as Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change, in addition to your roles as Minister of Municipal Affairs and Environment, Minister Responsible for the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board and Registrar General. I am placing my trust in you to protect Newfoundland and Labrador's environment, to take steps on climate change, and to build vibrant communities.

As we approach the mid-point of our mandate, we have a strong Cabinet. We are guided by our plan for sustainability and growth, The Way Forward. It focuses on strengthening our economy and creating private sector jobs, delivering better services, improving outcomes to promote a prosperous Newfoundland and Labrador, and improving public sector efficiency. I am asking you to deliver on this plan by leading the following:

Climate Change

  • Releasing a Climate Change Action Plan;
  • Implementing the Management of Greenhouse Gas Act to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions from large industry and regulate GHG reporting and administrative penalties;
  • Working with large-scale industry to develop emissions reduction targets and publishing these targets as part of the new greenhouse gas reduction strategy for the province;
  • Developing pay-as-you-save programs for commercial and industrial energy retrofits that generate net benefits, which will improve the use of energy and generate savings for businesses in our province; and
  • Exploring new opportunities to partner with municipalities to retrofit subsidized housing in partnership with the Minister Responsible for the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.

Environment

  • Increasing monitoring sites on the Churchill River for the future safety and security of residents in that area;
  • Reviewing the Environmental Assessment process;
  • Reviewing environmental permitting processes; and
  • Developing a drinking water quality action plan to address infrastructure, expertise and technology to ensure our water systems are safe and sustainable.

Local Government

  • Organizing the annual Premier's Forum on Local Government where community leaders and key municipal organizations are invited to discuss issues of concern to municipalities;
  • Advancing regional collaboration through infrastructure and sharing of services;
  • Reviewing the Assessment Act, 2006 to address the timing of assessments, assessment criteria and implementation of the associated mil rate, in partnership with the Municipal Assessment Agency and Municipalities NL;
  • Reviewing the processes used to provide ministerial approval to municipalities under various pieces of legislation; and
  • Creating communities that support healthy living in partnership with the Minister of Children, Seniors and Social Development and Minister of Health and Community Services.

Municipal Infrastructure

  • Working with Municipalities NL, Professional Municipal Administrators, other stakeholders and the federal government, to develop a strategic plan to address the infrastructure gap in our province; and
  • Providing municipalities with infrastructure funding under the new multi-year framework to allow better planning, management and completion of infrastructure projects.

Emergency Services

  • Ensuring that the NL 911 Bureau has implemented a multi-agency emergency notification approach for 911 calls in the province; and
  • Working with your provincial and federal colleagues to re-establish the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in our province.

Together, Cabinet is responsible for achieving the targets set out in The Way Forward. Achieving these targets is critical to attaining inclusive growth, improving employment levels and reducing poverty and realizing financial sustainability. To support reaching these targets, I ask all ministers to consider the impact of their decisions on the health of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians through our Health in All Policies approach. You must also consider whether your decisions are best positioning our province for economic and private sector job growth.

As Premier, I expect you to be open and transparent. We must use evidence and research and engage with the public, stakeholders and our Indigenous partners to inform our decisions. We must ensure that we are focused on service excellence. I have asked all Ministers to reduce red tape, adopt lean continuous improvement principles and publish business standards for all major programs by March 31, 2018.1 also expect all Ministers to work together to support our commitment to being a government that is digital-by-design. In fulfilling your responsibility as Minister, you must ensure collaboration, in a positive and constructive manner, with your Cabinet colleagues. I take this opportunity to remind you that, as you carry out your responsibilities as a Member of the House of Assembly and Member of Cabinet, adhering to the Code of Conduct and the Conflict of Interest guidelines are mandatory to ensure you discharge your duties with the highest ethical standards. Deputy Ministers are your key source of support and will provide you with advice in meeting your responsibilities. I expect you to develop a positive, respectful and trusting relationship with your Deputy Minister and the public service. At the end of the day, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians want to see results. You must track and report on your progress towards completing the work outlined in this letter. We will continue to highlight our progress in our annual Way Forward report cards and annual performance reports. Together, we will improve health, social and economic outcomes and deliver high-quality services for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

Municipal Affairs and Environment