Public Affairs Update Header
June 29, 2015
In This Issue
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.

Premier Clark renews B.C.’s focus on Climate Change
At a time when many British Columbians are focused on heat waves, wildfires and the potential for drought, B.C. Premier Christy Clark has put a new focus on how her government is addressing the issue of climate change.Premier Clark (pictured with forest fire crews) has delivered new and updated mandate letters to members of her Cabinet that outline her priorities over the next year – and in those letters the issue of the environment figures prominently, alongside her continued emphasis on a strong economy and controlling government spending.Specific measures are spelled out in the mandate letter for Environment Minister Hon. Mary Polak, including implementing a renewed Climate Leadership Plan, making a meaningful contribution to the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP 21 in Paris later this year, and analysis of reduced snowfall and retreating glaciers as part of efforts to “protect our forests from any impacts of climate change.”Another environmental priority for Premier Clark is working with the federal government to improve marine oil spill safety and response.Tackling climate change was also on the agenda at Vancouver City Hall this week, where City Council passed an update to Mayor Gregor Robertson’s Greenest City Action Plan. The updated plan calls for four district energy systems across the city, and transit improvements aimed at ensuring 66 per cent of all trips in Vancouver are done by walking, cycling and transit by 2040.

Chinese Consul criticizes lack of housing regulation
The Chinese government’s top representative in Vancouver says a lack of regulation is to blame for skyrocketing housing costs in the Lower Mainland – not Chinese buyers. Chinese Consul- General Liu Fei said the introduction of quotas to increase the number of affordable housing units within new buildings, greater municipal oversight of real estate developers and a tax or fee for overseas investors who want to buy luxury properties could all increase housing affordability in the Lower Mainland.

Battleground B.C.
The latest poll of federal parties suggests that Tom Mulcair and the NDP are leading among decided voters in British Columbia. The Ipsos poll gives the NDP a 10-point lead over the Conservatives and a 16-point lead over the Liberals. While the poll’s national numbers are considered accurate to within +/ – 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, the regional margin of error is larger.