B.C. government vows 10-year plans for skills training, transportation

Throne speech vows 10-year plan to "re-engineer" secondary and post-secondary schooling to help fill one million jobs

Lt. Governor Judith Guichon's ceremonial duties include reading the Speech from the Throne

VICTORIA – In a speech from the throne that echoed Premier Christy Clark’s election campaign,  the B.C. government promised Tuesday to begin a 10-year skills training plan to drive industrial development.

Lt. Governor Judith Guichon read the speech in the ceremonial beginning of the B.C. legislature session. It touched on the B.C. Liberal government’s familiar themes, including the need to train and retain citizens to fill one million jobs due to growth and baby boomer retirements in the next decade.

“British Columbians can look forward to enhancements to the Industry Training Authority, as well as the re-engineering of our secondary and post-secondary institutions to ensure our students have the skills for the jobs of the future,” Guichon told MLAs gathered for the first time in 2014.

Employers and job seekers will be watching for details in the provincial budget, to be presented by Finance Minister Mike de Jong on Feb. 18. Opposition critics have focused on the government’s reductions of skills training and the shortage of spaces and equipment for industrial training.

The speech also promises a new 10-year plan for transportation, to build on major road, bridge and transit works that have become contentious in the Lower Mainland as it struggles to keep up with population growth.

Speaking to reporters after the speech, Clark emphatically denied the conclusion of a B.C. Supreme Court justice that her government engineered the 2012 teacher strike to build public support for an imposed settlement.

NDP leader Adrian Dix called the speech “particularly lacking in vision or substance,” adding that it contains nothing for B.C. residents who “don’t work in the industries of liquefied natural gas or liquor.”

In addition to touting the future benefits of LNG exports and pending liquor law reforms, the speech recounts increases in Asian trade, the ongoing “core review” to reduce provincial spending, and new union agreements that tie wage increases to an expanded economy.

Just Posted

Rossland council agrees to finish skateboard park

Will cost taxpayers about $30,000 to complete project

Core funding to boost spending on tourism services for Rossland

Resort Municipalities grants will pay for a public washroom, better signage, and shuttle services

Passenger counts still rising at West Kootenay Regional Airport

Reliability rates also on rise in second quarter.

Third cannabis store in Greater Trail opens next week

The City of Trail has had six applications from non-medical pot retailers to date

Last stop: The inside story of Queen City Shuttle and Charters’ closure

Former employees open up about the Nelson company’s final days

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read