Throne Speech Highlights

The Hon. Judith Guichon opened the sixth session of the Fortieth Parliament of British Columbia by delivering the Speech from the Throne yesterday. In a speech that primarily looked back over the recent achievements of the Government, reference was made to several new initiatives of interest to local government.

Housing

This spring, the government will continue to work with municipalities to encourage greater supply of housing, including building more units, and creating smarter, greener communities, connected by transit.

Rural Economic Development

This spring, the government will implement a new Rural Economic Development Strategy. The Strategy has three key elements:

  • Moving forward with projects like Site C and LNG that create jobs in rural communities.
  • Investments to create jobs through necessary infrastructure improvements.
  • A long-term plan to diversify rural economies by encouraging the growth of new and emerging sectors.

Tourism

The government will work with BC Ferries to provide a new seasonal ferry service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola, and make investments in tourism infrastructure such as highway rest areas, airports and cycling trails.

Forestry

The government will name an envoy to Washington to make sure B.C. has continued access to the American market, working with the forestry sector and the federal government to secure a new agreement on softwood lumber. Note: following the Throne Speech, David Emerson, formerly Canada’s Minister of International Trade, was introduced as the new envoy.

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