PREMIER CHRISTY CLARK’S ONE-YEAR UPDATE
On May 14, 2013, you asked us to keep working towards a strong economy and secure tomorrow.
We’ve been working hard every day to keep our promises to you.
We promised to keep government spending under control, balanced our budget for the second year in a row, kept taxes low and reduced red tape – and we’ve delivered.
Going forward, we’ll stay focused on growing the economy – by investing in skills training that works, getting to yes on projects that create good jobs, and expanding our trade with Asia-Pacific markets. That’s how we’ll continue to invest in health care, education, and the other things we all depend on.
As always, you and your family are top of mind. We’re working for you.
That’s what you asked for during the last campaign, and my team and I are determined to deliver.
Hon. Christy Clark
Premier of British Columbia
Balanced Budget and Controlling Spending
As promised, we have now balanced the provincial budget two years in a row. In 2014, we are one of the few jurisdictions to do that.
We achieved this despite challenging economic times – by making tough but necessary decisions to control government spending. That means careful review of how every public dollar is spent through the Core Review process, which has already saved taxpayers millions. And it has allowed us to keep taxes low while investing in priorities like health care, education, and infrastructure.
Strong Progress on LNG
As promised, your government has worked aggressively to realize B.C.’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunity.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create opportunity that lasts for generations and pay down our debt – so we’ve put aside old divisions to work with labour, industry and First Nations to build the LNG industry.
With several major LNG projects acquiring land, laying groundwork, and receiving export licenses, we are well on our way. We are working to make sure that B.C. workers are first in line for the jobs LNG will create, and that local companies and contractors take full advantage of these new opportunities with our LNG Buy-BC program.
Cleaner-burning LNG is also the greatest contribution B.C. can make to reducing global carbon emissions, by replacing coal and oil consumption in growing economies like China’s. If China follows through on their plans to convert 4% of their power generation from coal to LNG, it would mean a 90-megaton reduction in greenhouse gases every year – the annual equivalent to shutting down every car, factory, school, and building in B.C. for 18 months.
Skills for Jobs Blueprint
As promised, we are re-engineering BC’s education and apprenticeship systems to train the next generation of skilled workers and put them first in line for BC jobs.
With about a million job openings expected in BC by 2022, making sure our workers have the right skills is a top priority. So we’re partnering with educators, the private sector, organized labour, and First Nations to make sure students and workers get the training they need.
Over the ten years of our plan, BC will be allocating about $3 billion in skills training for high-demand occupations, so more British Columbians are trained and ready for the opportunities that await them.
Jobs and Trade Mission to Asia
As promised, increased trade with Asia-Pacific markets is already creating new opportunities for British Columbians. Our exports of lumber, minerals, agri-foods and other BC-made products have grown dramatically in the last few years, reducing our reliance on traditional markets like the United States. Every new dollar of goods sold overseas means more good jobs here at home.
That’s why I went to China, South Korea, and Japan in the fall, and Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong so far this year: to establish new relationships with government and industry leaders, help BC companies identify trade opportunities, and send a clear message that BC is open for business.
Strong BC, Strong Canada
As promised, we are working with the Government of Canada on our shared priorities. We successfully negotiated an agreement on the Canada Jobs Grant that will help BC companies hire and train the workers they need. And we are cooperating to build a strong natural resource economy that works for every BC community.
BC is ready to step up and be a leader in Confederation, even more than we already are. Because a strong and prosperous BC means a better country – for all Canadians.
An Open Government
As promised, we are listening to and consulting British Columbians on an unprecedented scale. Already, the public has been consulted on key issues including liquor law reform, highway speed limits, creating opportunity for people with disabilities, proposed reform of forest tenures, and many local and regional issues – with much more to come.
Today’s BC Liberals believe that the people deserve a say in the direction of their province. Through public consultation, we are making each citizen’s voice more important than ever.
Reforming our Liquor Laws
As promised, we are bringing BC’s liquor laws into the 21st century, increasing convenience for consumers and helping to grow the tourism and hospitality sectors.
After consulting the public on their wishes and priorities, we have moved forward on reforms that will reduce red tape and barriers to profit while protecting our youth.
This is the kind of leadership you can expect in the years ahead: putting old battles behind us in the relentless pursuit of a strong economy and secure tomorrow for all of BC.
It’s what you elected us to do. My team and I are privileged to have your confidence, and we are determined not to let you down.