November 13, 2012 BC Chamber Public Affairs Update

Public Affairs Update Header
Issue 39 November 13, 2012
In This IssuePremier Clark Announces First Auditor General for Local GovernmentPremier Clark Announces Destination BC to Market TourismMinister Polak Highlights BC as Canada’s Pacific GatewayThe 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 BC.
Premier Clark Announces First Auditor General for Local Government
Premier Clark has announced that Basia Ruta will be BC’s first Auditor General for Local Government(AGLG). The AGLG will make non-binding recommendations based on performance audits and publicize best practices adopted by local governments. The AGLG will not question the merits of policy decisions or objectives of local governments.Ms. Ruta was selected and recommended for appointment following a nationwide search, and will begin her position at the AGLG’s Surrey office in January 2013.

Ms. Ruta is a chartered accountant and has extensive experience working in the federal Office of the Auditor General, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, and as Environment Canada’s Chief Financial Officer. She has over 30 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors, and has valuable knowledge of local and regional governance gained in part by conducting audits of local government, hospital and community organizations. She also has significant expertise in both managing transitions and performance measurement.

The AGLG’s term is for five years, with a maximum of two terms permitted.

The concept for a Municipal Auditor General in BC was developed in a BC Chamber policy paper.

Premier Clark Announces Destination BC to Market TourismPremier Clark has announced that Destination BC will be a new industry-led crown corporationwhich will work directly with tourism sector professionals to market the province as a tourism destination. It will have ultimately have protected funding through a legislature-based formula.Developed in partnership with tourism stakeholders, Destination BC’s structure will provide greater responsiveness to the tourism industry and increase accountability to taxpayers.The creation of Destination BC is the direct result of tireless advocacy from tourism sector professionals, tourism organizations such as the Tourism Industry Association of BC and the BC and Yukon Hotels Association, and business organizations like the BC Chamber of Commerce.

Several recommendations from a BC Chamber policy recommendation, such as protected funding and executive leadership from independent tourism professionals, are included in the new organization.

Minister Polak Highlights BC as Canada’s Pacific Gateway
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Hon. Mary Polak spoke at the Vancouver Board of Trade’s Pacific Gateway Forum last week, specifically about the work the province has done in order to expand trade with Asia.

Minister Polak stated that BC, the federal government and private sector partners have spent 22 billion dollars on developing infrastructure and building trade corridors since 2005. Further, between now and 2020, an additional 25 billion dollars will be spent on key infrastructure, covering roads, rail lines and ports infrastructure, to meet both domestic and international demands.

BC’s holds the closest port to Asia in Prince Rupert. So far, the Port of Prince Rupert has completed a $170-million conversion of its Fairview Terminal from a break bulk facility to an import and export terminal. The port is set to receive an additional 300 million dollars in development this year, highlighted by the 90-million-dollar Road Rail Utility Corridor on the Ridley Island industrial site that is set to break ground this month and be completed by late 2013.

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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.

 

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