As thousands of jobs are created, British Columbians are seeing the benefits of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, which continues to support people through global inflation and economic challenges.
Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, has introduced the StrongerBC Economic Plan Progress Update, which demonstrates the steps the Government of British Columbia has taken to tackle economic headwinds by boosting clean and inclusive growth, and building an economy that works for everyone.
“While global inflation, supply chain disruptions and wildfires continue to impact British Columbians, our StrongerBC Economic Plan has had people’s backs – from putting more money back into people’s pockets, investing in housing, health care and skills training for the jobs of tomorrow, to tackling climate change and helping businesses and people transition to clean-energy solutions,” Bailey said. “Through the StrongerBC Economic Plan, we will keep building an innovation-based, sustainable economy, so that people can build a good life here in B.C.”
Eleven of the 14 flagship actions set out in the StrongerBC Economic Plan have been delivered and are contributing to the province’s economic growth. That’s demonstrated by GDP growth of 13.7% since 2017, which leads all large provinces, and nearly 100,000 new jobs, low unemployment and rising wages.
As part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, the $480-million StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan is helping thousands of people get the skills they need in a changing economy, and to help meet the needs of employers. This includes the new Future Skills Grant, which covers up to $3,500 for short-term skills training from more than 400 post-secondary programs, thousands of new training seats for in-demand careers, and new funding to help people with international credentials get recognition for their professional credentials, so they can get working sooner in their field of choice in B.C.
“The B.C. government’s investment in future-focused training is crucial,” said Danielle Agron, a Simon Fraser University mechatronics PhD student. “Through the B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation’s support, I’ve gained skills for rewarding job prospects and significant contributions to enhancing food security in our province.”
Another key action of the StrongerBC Economic Plan is the new, made-in-B.C. Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy, designed to ensure more innovative, local companies have opportunities to grow and create high-paying jobs, while advancing health care and pandemic preparedness at home and internationally. It includes actions to develop more skilled workers for local, growing life-sciences businesses, and to provide low-cost research space to ensure cutting edge companies can anchor and grow, and to secure the province’s position as a global hub for innovation.
“As well as building domestic capabilities to translate scientific breakthroughs into new medicines that will benefit patients across Canada and around the world, the StrongerBC Economic Plan is helping to create hundreds of new high-skilled jobs at AbCellera and across British Columbia’s thriving life sciences and biomanufacturing sectors,” said Anne Stevens, vice-president, business development, AbCellera. “We are recruiting for positions across the organization, and the StrongerBC Economic Plan is cementing the province’s post-secondary institutions as a source of top-tier talent.”
To help more local businesses export their made-in-B.C. goods and services and to invest internationally in new and existing markets, the Province launched a new international Trade Diversification Strategy. Three new targeted markets – Mexico, Vietnam and Taiwan – are identified as valuable new markets for B.C.’s export growth, with actions underway to increase trade support.
To provide new opportunities for jobs, while reducing B.C.’s carbon footprint and getting more value out of every tree, the Province launched the Mass Timber Action Plan. The plan positions the province to be a global leader in the sector, building on increasing domestic and international demand for this high-value, sustainable building material. As part of the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, the Province is providing the British Columbia Institute of Technology with $3.3 million to create a mass-timber training hub, providing expanded opportunities for people to gain new skills in the sector.
The new B.C. Maritime Industries Strategy will help build a more competitive, modernized marine sector with reduced carbon emissions, and generate more highly skilled jobs. As much as $25 million will be invested in new and modernized infrastructure and assets to support shipyards to meet growing market demand for their services, and attract more investment to the province. B.C.-based shipyards can apply for funding to upgrade existing equipment, like a high-capacity hydraulic lift that would allow faster lift of heavier ships, or new infrastructure, such as a floating dry dock in order to increase the number and type of ships that can be serviced.
To help advance the role of First Nations in B.C.’s inclusive economy and to work toward true and lasting reconciliation, B.C. has provided $1.2 million to the B.C. Assembly of First Nations to launch its new, independent Centre of Excellence in First Nations Economic Development. The centre will support First Nations to determine and implement their economic development goals, priorities and strategies.
The economic plan delivers on the Province’s CleanBC: Roadmap to 2030 commitments and the B.C. Hydrogen Strategy. Of 70 actions across government ministries, 24 are complete and 46 are underway. Building a resilient economy is part of the Province’s work through the StrongerBC Economic Plan that will benefit all British Columbians.
- The StrongerBC Economic Plan: a plan for today, a vision for tomorrow has two goals – clean and inclusive growth – and six missions with a number of key actions to advance the plan.
Learn more about the StrongerBC Economic Plan: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/economic-plan/
Learn more about the StrongerBC Economic Plan Progress Update, 2022-23: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/StrongerBC_EcPlan_2023.pdf
Learn more about the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Future-Ready-May2023.pdf
Learn more about B.C.’s Maritime Industries Strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/economic-development/support-business-community/sector/maritime#strategy
Learn more about B.C.’s Trade Diversification Strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/international-investment-and-trade/trade-diversification-strategy
Learn more about B.C.’s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/technology-innovation/life-sciences-biomanufacturing
Learn more about the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program (REDIP): https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/economic-development/support-organizations-community-partners/rural-economic-development/redip
Learn more about the B.C. Manufacturing Jobs Fund: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/employment-business/economic-development/support-organizations-community-partners/rural-economic-development/manufacturing-jobs-fund
Learn more about the B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022JERI0039-001146
Learn more about B.C.’s Mass Timber Action Plan: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/construction-industry/mass-timber
Learn more about the Integrated Marketplace Initiative: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023JEDI0024-000568
Learn more about the B.C. Assembly of First Nations new Centre of Excellence in First Nations Economic Development: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022JERI0067-001524
Learn about B.C.’s Intellectual Property Strategy: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/technology-innovation/intellectual-property
A backgrounder follows.