CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Thank you Robyn Sylvester for that kind introduction.
Thank you Greg D’Avignon, and the Business Council of British Columbia for inviting me here today.
We are gathered on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations of the Coast Salish peoples.
There is tremendous energy, drive, and talent in this room.
Thank you for the great work you do to create good jobs for people across B.C.
This is a special province.
Our economy is as diverse as our communities.
Driven by the abundance of natural resources, and the hard work and ingenuity of our people.
From fishing and forestry, to tourism and agriculture, arts and film, construction and manufacturing, technology and innovation...
We have it all.
I’m humbled to be Premier of such a dynamic and diverse province.
Last Thursday marked 100 days since we formed government.
We’ve been working every day for the people and businesses of B.C.
Our three key priorities during the election campaign were very simple:
- Making life more affordable.
- Fixing the services people count on.
- And building a strong, sustainable and innovative economy that works for everyone.
We know that economic growth and investments in people go hand-in-hand.
Attracting the best and brightest talent depends on an education system that’s second to none.
Retaining that talent depends on making sure people can afford to live here.
And future growth and opportunity for business depends on keeping our economy competitive.
You are doing your part to keep the province moving
Government has to step up and do its part by investing in people, infrastructure, and a competitive business environment.
Our September budget update presented a balanced budget and a strong fiscal outlook, with smart investments to keep our economy growing.
We increased education funding and opened 500 new trades training spaces, to give young people the skills they need to succeed.
We waived tuition fees for Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning, to reduce barriers so people can reach their full potential.
We’re also improving credential assessments to help newcomers get to work in their fields faster.
The budget update included $14.6 billion in capital spending over three years to build roads, transit, schools and hospitals for people.
That’s something we’re proud of.
When we build up our province, we create opportunity for you, and for people across B.C.
We’re going to make sure communities benefit from these investments, by promoting local hires and local procurement, and creating more training spaces.
Because government infrastructure investment should benefit local business and create good local jobs.
We create the foundation for investment and growth by investing in:
- transportation and infrastructure
- action on climate change
- education and skills training
- public health care
- action on housing affordability
Our government will continue to support traditional industries like forestry, mining and natural gas.
We’ll make B.C. a world leader in engineered wood products, and grow our value-added sector.
We’ll keep fighting for a fair deal on softwood lumber that is good for B.C. forest workers, our industry, and the communities that depend on it.
We’ll invest in natural resource projects, and make sure British Columbians receive a fair rate of return.
We’ll protect B.C.’s land, air and water.
And we will make sure First Nations are meaningful partners in natural resource projects.
We don’t achieve that by ignoring Supreme Court decisions.
We don’t achieve that by ignoring the principles of reconciliation.
We achieve it by working with First Nations to share the prosperity with everyone.
We can't change the disappointments of the past.
But we can look forward with hope and optimism to an economy where industry, workers and Indigenous Peoples all benefit from the wealth they helped create.
Last week, I travelled to Kitimat and Prince Rupert.
I toured the new AltaGas Propane Export Terminal, an innovative project that opens the door to global markets, while creating good jobs for the North Coast.
I also visited the modernized Rio Tinto smelter, source of the world’s lowest carbon aluminum and more than 1,000 sustainable jobs.
We visited LNG Canada and Kitimat LNG
They are confident and optimistic for the future of the industry
I’m confident and hopeful, too
My government will continue to work with traditional sectors of the economy, while embracing new ideas and solutions to bring us into the future.
We’re supporting growth and opportunities in the new economy.
Including venture capital investment in B.C. start-ups, to back our B.C. tech companies.
Our Innovation Commissioner will be both an advocate and ambassador for B.C.’s tech sector.
And the Emerging Economy Task Force will create made-in-B.C. solutions to encourage innovation and drive sustainable economic growth.
We’re also taking steps to expand and deepen B.C.’s national and international trade relationships.
We’re opening a new U.S. trade and investment office in Seattle to promote BC tech.
Our strategic investment in film over decades has created a skilled workforce and a thriving industry.
And it’s not just because of our beautiful natural environment.
It’s about our people.
We have the talent and the skilled workforce to fuel creative projects for decades to come.
The film industry is a great job creator in B.C., and we want to do everything we can to help it expand.
All of this, and more, is possible.
Together, we can create good-paying jobs in every corner of the province
And make sure everyone benefits from B.C.’s economy, resources and environment.
Government can help you by providing the right support at the right time
By investing in people
And sharing the economic prosperity with communities throughout B.C.
My government is here to work with you to make it happen.
Let’s work together… to build that better B.C.