(Files by Darin Bain-MyPGNow)
Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governer of BC, has delivered the speech from the throne outlining the provincial government’s plans for a stronger BC.
The throne speech highlighted that BC has one of the highest vaccinations rates in Northern America, and the strongest economic recovery in Canada, with more people working today than when the pandemic began.
In the year ahead, the government says they will continue to improve health care, fight climate change, and help communities adapt to extreme weather.
Specific actions the government will be taking in the coming months include:
- Ensuring B.C. workers do not get left behind by tying minimum wage increases to the rate of inflation;
- Protecting people buying homes in a volatile market by introducing a cooling-off period on home purchases;
- Helping prepare people for the jobs of the future with a generational commitment to develop the talent B.C. needs over the next 10 years to close the skills gap;
- Moving forward on reconciliation by working to implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act through an action plan drafted in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples;
- Recognizing British Columbians’ shared history by taking a major step towards establishing the first Chinese Canadian Museum in Canada and modernizing the Royal BC Museum;
- Bringing more certainty and reliability to child care by moving responsibility to the Ministry of Education;
- Improving management of B.C.’s land and resources by creating a new ministry to better support goals of reconciliation, economic development and environmental protection.
In addition, the province says more families will have access to affordable housing and childcare as a result of measures that include doubling the number of $10-a-day spaces, cutting child care fees in half, and increasing the supply homes for middle-class families.
“After two of the most difficult years in our history, we know people are exhausted and families are feeling stretched,” Premier John Horgan said.
“That’s why our focus has been, and will continue to be, on investing to help make life better for people. By putting people first, we have laid the foundation to help B.C. come out of these challenging times stronger and more resilient than ever.”