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

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

VIDEO: 76th annual Swiftsure sets sail Saturday

Longstanding competition takes off from Victoria’s Inner Harbour May 25

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read