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

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

Bella Coola expected to be hottest spot in B.C. today

Temperatures are predicted to rise to 18 C

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

IT’S OFFICIAL: Mt. Timothy sale complete

New owners looking toward year-round mountain resort facility

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Story of Wet’suwet’en Chief Alfred Joseph being told

Song of the Earth on Chief Gisday’wa will be launched in Hagwilget

Houston woman gets two years for aggravated assault

Ewald pleads guilty; trial of co-accused Calvin Dyrland begins in Smithers B.C. court

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Most Read