Public Affairs Update Header
August 26, 2013
In This Issue
Industry Training Authority review set
B.C. government eyes stronger municipal election rules
BC Hydro plan forecasts 40% hike in electricity use
The Public Affairs Update is your weekly insight, perspective and analysis on politics in British Columbia and Canada.  This newsletter is brought to you by the largest, and most broadly-based business organization in the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce – the Voice of Business in B.C.

Industry Training Authority review set

The provincial Crown agency responsible for co-ordinating British Columbia’s industry-led skills training system is being put under the microscope.

The Industry Training Authority’s role, function and effectiveness will be the focus of an independent review commissioned by the B.C. government, said Shirley Bond, minister of jobs, tourism and skills training, and minister responsible for labour.

The review will provide government with recommendations to improve and strengthen:

  • oversight and governance of the industry training system;
  • strategic leadership of the system;
  • outcomes that will provide more skilled workers across BC;
  • ITA’s overall service delivery model of the apprenticeship system in BC (from pre-apprenticeship through to certification); and
  • partnerships and engagement with educators, industry, private sector unions, and other stakeholders.

Improving skills training is a key priority for Premier Christy Clark, who sees it as a vital component of the province’s push to develop energy resources like LNG.

The independent review leader will be named in September. The report must be submitted to the B.C. government by the end of November 2013.

B.C. government eyes stronger municipal election rules
The next round of BC municipal elections could be run under new rules that promote greater transparency and accountability, the BC Government says.

Disclosure and registration by third-party advertisers and a ban on anonymous contributions are two of the new rules being proposed for the next municipal elections, which take place in November 2014. The recommendations will be contained in a white paper on municipal election reform to be released in September 2013. Legislation with the changes is expected in Spring 2014.

A third recommendation – expense limits – will also be reviewed. But those rules likely wouldn’t come into force until 2017 at the earliest, said Coralee Oakes, B.C.’s minister of community, sport and cultural development.

BC Hydro plan forecasts 40% hike in electricity use

Waterpower expansion, potential natural gas plants on the north coast and ramped-up conservation are among measures being planned by BC Hydro to meet B.C’.s projected 40% increase in electricity needs over the next 20 years.

These and other measures are part of BC Hydro’s draft Integrated Resource Plan, the provincial Crown corporation’s blueprint for the next two decades. The plan was made public on Friday.

In the report, BC Hydro proposes:

  • increasing hydro generating capacity by building Site C on the Peace River; and
  • supporting LNG development by exploring construction of natural gas-fired plants in B.C.’s North, reinforcing electricity transmission capacity and working with industry to examine supply options in the Horn River Basin.

Public consultation takes place September 3 through October 15. BC Hydro must submit its plan to the BC Government by November 15.

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This weekly report produced for the BC Chamber of Commerce by Fleishman-Hillard.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information included in this publication as of the date of issue, events and government policies are subject to frequent change.  Therefore, the BC Chamber of Commerce and Fleishman-Hillard cannot assume any responsibility for actions taken solely or principally on the basis on the information contained herein.