Public Affairs Update Header
October 5, 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.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement reached

The B.C. Chamber applauds today’s announcement that Canada has successfully concluded negotiations to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the economic benefit and jobs this trade agreement will bring our communities and businesses in B.C. and business across Canada.

“Canada could not afford to sit on the sidelines as others build economic bridges throughout the Asia-Pacific.” said Jon Garson, President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce. “With this monumental, ground-breaking TPP agreement, Canada has the opportunity to see long-term economic benefits, in a time of on-going global economic uncertainty.”

Garson added, this deal means more jobs and income in our province. The BC Chamber has been a strong supporter of the need for a successful conclusion to these talks and as Canada’s only Pacific province, B.C. businesses and residents stand to benefit significantly.  Click here to continue reading today’s media release.

Premier Clark targets NDP on jobs at mid-term

Premier Christy Clark opened a rare fall sitting of the B.C. Legislature this week by taking on the Opposition New Democrats on an issue crucial to the BC Liberals’ electoral success: Jobs.

Typically, fall sittings provide the opposition the chance to highlight government failures, and the BC NDP tried to do that in this mid-term sitting with questions focused on problems with BC’s child welfare system, a data security breach by the Ministry of Education, and fears that agricultural lands close to Vancouver’s port lands could be converted into industrial lands. On the latter issue, Premier Clark turned the tables on the NDP for what she called “the opposition’s opposition to jobs.”

“We [BC Liberals] want to deliver jobs for the people of British Columbia. So while they didn’t support the Coquihalla Highway, they don’t support the Alex Fraser Bridge, they didn’t support Expo 86, they didn’t support building B.C. Place, they didn’t support the Sea to Sky Highway, they didn’t support the Port Mann Bridge, they didn’t support the South Fraser Perimeter Road, they didn’t support LNG, and they don’t support Site C … and now they don’t support a port expansion that could create thousands and thousands of jobs for working people in this province,” Premier Clark said.

“The only people in this House who are on the side of working people in British Columbia, is the government on this side of the House,” she said.

The six-week session is expected to see the passage of a light load of housekeeping legislation. The Electoral Boundaries Act, Auditor General for Local Government Act, Municipal Electoral Boundaries Act, and Red Tape Reduction Day Act will be introduced or amended by the end of the sitting.

Bennett appointed Chair of BC Hydro

This week, Premier Christy Clark appointed Brad Bennett the new Chair of the BC Hydro Board of Directors.

“Brad Bennett’s longstanding passion for reliable, affordable electricity has served the BC Hydro board – and all British Columbians – well for three years. He’ll bring that same dedication, business experience, and acumen to his new role,” said Premier Clark.

Mr. Bennett is president of McIntosh Properties Ltd, a real estate and private equity investment company, and was the Premier’s election advisor in 2013.

Still a three-way race in B.C.

The three main parties in the federal election are still locked in a statistical tie, the latest poll by Innovative Research shows. The Conservatives have a slight lead in BC, but the NDP and Liberals are both close behind. Nationally, it’s the Liberals who lead with 31%, with the NDP and Conservatives tied for second at 29%.
Voters go to the polls on October 19th.