The Believe in BC Future Economy Pack
Is BC Ready for the post-pandemic economy? A strong economy enables people and families to thrive and governments to enact common-sense, compassionate policy. Smart, innovative decision-making allows us to unlock opportunity and deliver more for British Columbians without constant tax hikes.
We must be ready for the post-pandemic economy and the challenges to come: climate change, geopolitical change, and the changing nature of work.
As we recover from the pandemic, the BC NDP are not ready or willing to confidently chart a path through these critical times, nor to unlock the potential of our province. Business is just not in their DNA. They may have good intentions, but they fail time and again when it comes to execution.
With the NDP running things, British Columbia’s families, workers, seniors, and entrepreneurs will be left to face economic uncertainty, low-quality services, and inefficiency for years to come, coupled with higher taxes and a growing burden of debt. With the right approach, BC can instead embrace the opportunities that come from change -- we can open the door to youth, students, families, and single parents seeking better career opportunities, we can build new infrastructure that connects British Columbians and provides them with goods and services across the province, and we can enact smart regulation that jumpstarts investment and delivers effective economic results.
My plan for ensuring the electoral relevance of the BC Liberal Party starts with re-establishing us as a credible, future-looking voice on our province’s path to success. We need to build a bridge to both the next generation of voters and people in the next emerging industries. Building back competitiveness will better position us to persuasively champion the issues that matter to people, families, and small business. And in time, we will be able to regain the support of voters for a government that represents communities across the province, from Pouce Coupe and Parksville to Port Coquitlam and Vernon.
Jobs and Skills Training
Pandemic recovery starts with people. In this unstable job market, many British Columbians are considering shifting careers or upgrading their skills. As BC Liberals, we should advocate for policies that equip workers with skills and remove barriers to entry for in-demand, family-supporting careers by making training and education accessible to all. I would:
- Invest in workforce development and cut barriers to employment for British Columbians
- Implement residency-contingent debt forgiveness for targeted post-secondary programs
- Develop increased post-secondary educational capacity in rural and remote communities
- Increase apprenticeship and vocational programs in high schools
- Address capacity bottlenecks in post-secondary programs that are key to the growth of our innovation economy, like engineering and computer science
We must build an interconnected British Columbia. The “work from anywhere” response to COVID has accelerated an unprecedented outflow of young families from urban to suburban and rural communities. This is the ideal moment for a serious conversation about the infrastructure we need for an interconnected British Columbia, from digital connectivity to electrification. I would:
- Build and enable new digital and transportation infrastructure to prepare BC communities for the future economy and future population patterns
- Ensure the same quality, accessible healthcare across BC and improve residents’ proximity to healthcare services, alongside ongoing investments in tele-health.
- Accelerate BC’s transportation electrification by unlocking and encouraging private sector innovation to build more electric vehicle charging stations across the province and ensure that new electricity generation keeps up with growing demand
Getting our economy moving requires British Columbia to be an attractive, competitive jurisdiction for entrepreneurs and investors. Studies have shown that red tape is an even greater impediment to small business than taxation. Targeting unnecessary regulatory hurdles will help jumpstart BC's post-pandemic recovery. I would:
- Conduct a regulatory competitiveness review aimed at identifying barriers to new investment across sectors.
- Improve approval and permitting timelines, from small businesses to major projects.
- Fast-track deployment of clean technology that reduces industrial emissions and positions BC to exceed its emissions reduction targets.
- Invest provincial funding to support the implementation of modern, digital, and consistent permit processing by municipalities, and provide funding to add more capacity. People and families are also end users of housing, whether as owners or renters, and the permitting backlog is driving up costs for all of us. Committing taxpayer dollars to expedite permitting is a good investment.