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

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

Only four ice pads for Saanich, Victoria groups

City of Victoria looks for emergency shelter options amidst bed shortage

My Place considered for tier-2 shelter during harsh weather

Vikes ready for Queen’s in Game 1 of national men’s rugby championship

From mid-terms to national championships, it’s a rugby life

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

POLL: Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Christmas lights are twinkling and holiday music is playing in local… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read