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Highlights from BC Ministerial Mandate Letters

Highlights from BC Ministerial Mandate Letters

July 25, 2017

On Monday, July 24, British Columbia Premier John Horgan released the mandate letters for each of his cabinet ministers.

Premier Horgan has instructed his cabinet to deliver on three key priorities:

  • Relief for families from rising costs and fees;
  • Better services for people, including health care and education; and
  • Good jobs and economic opportunity throughout B.C.

The letters outline specific commitments in each minister’s area of responsibility to achieve these priorities.

A number of letters include priorities of interest to the Canadian library and information management community:

Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (Melanie Mark)

Mandate Letter

  • Provide greater access to adult basic education and English-language learning programs by eliminating fees.
  • Reduce the financial burden on students by eliminating interest on B.C. government student loans and establish a $1,000 completion grant program to provide debt relief to B.C. graduates.
  • Encourage excellence in B.C.’s graduate school programs by introducing a new graduate student scholarship fund.
  • Work with the Minister of Education to support co-op, apprenticeship and work-experience programs for high school and undergraduate students.
  • Expand B.C.’s technology-related post-secondary programs, co-op programs, and work to establish technology and innovation centres in key areas of the economy.

Minister of Citizens’ Services (Jenny Sims)

Mandate Letter

  • Institute a cap on the value and the length of government IT contracts to save money, increase innovation, improve competition and help our technology sector grow.
  • Ensure government IT and software development procurement work better for companies that hire locally and have a local supply chain.
  • Improve access to information rules to provide greater public accountability.
  • Improve response and processing times for freedom of information requests.

Minister of Education (Rob Fleming)

Mandate Letter

  • Fast-track enhancement to K-12 education funding.
  • Review the funding formula to develop a stable and sustainable model for the K-12 education system.
  • Provide additional annual funding to ensure students have the school supplies they need to succeed.
  • Create an ongoing capital fund for school playgrounds.
  • Work in partnership to build and upgrade schools in every region of the province.
  • Implement the new First Nations history curriculum, develop full-course offerings in Aboriginal languages and implement the educational Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  • Implement BC’s new school curriculum and provide new technology, lab equipment, learning material and professional development support for teachers.

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (Scott Fraser)

Mandate Letter

  • Work collaboratively and respectfully with First Nations to establish a clear, cross-government vision of reconciliation to guide the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision.
  • In partnership with First Nations, transform the treaty process so it respects case law and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Support Indigenous communities seeking to revitalize connections to their languages.
  • Provide reliable, dedicated funding and support for Friendship Centres.

Minister of Jobs, Trade, and Technology (Bruce Ralston)

Mandate Letter

  • Establish B.C. as a preferred location for new and emerging technologies by supporting venture capital investment in B.C. startups, taking measures to increase the growth of domesitic B.C. tech companies, and removing barriers to attracting and repatriating skilled workers.
  • Ensure that the benefits of technology and innovation are felt around the province by working with rural and northern communities and equity-seeking groups to make strategic investments that support innovation and job growth.
  • Establish an Emerging Economy Task Force and establish an Innovation Commission to advocate for the technology sector
  • Create a framework to promote local hiring on government projects.
  • Work with the Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to improve credential assessments and create a centre to coordinate and educate newcomers in their fields.

Minister of Labour (Harry Bains)

Mandate Letter

  • Establish a Fair Wage Commission to support the work of implementing the $15-per-hour minimum wage by 2021 and to bring forward recommendations to close the gap between the minimum wage and livable wages. The commission will make its first report within 90 days of its first meeting.
  • Update employment standards to reflect the changing nature of workplaces and ensure they are applied evenly and enforced.
  • Review and develop options with WorkSafe B.C. to increase compliance with employment laws and standards put in place to protect the lives and safety of workers.
  • Ensure British Columbians have the same rights and protections enjoyed by other Canadians by reviewing the Labour Code to ensure workplaces support a growing, sustainable economy with fair laws for workers and businesses

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions (Judy Darcy)

Mandate Letter

  • Work in partnership to develop an immediate response to the opioid crisis that includes crucial investments and improvements to mental-health and addictions services.
  • Create a mental-health and addiction strategy to guide the transformation of B.C.’s mental-health-care system. As part of this strategy, include a focus on improving access, investing in early prevention and youth mental health.
  • Consult with internal and external stakeholders to determine the most effective way to deliver quality mental-health and addiction services.

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Selina Robinson)

Mandate Letter

  • Partner with local governments and First Nations to develop a community capital infrastructure fund to upgrade and build sports facilities, playgrounds, local community centres, and arts and culture spaces.
  • Work in partnership to develop a homelessness action plan to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services. As part of the plan, conduct a province-wide homelessness count.

Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction (Shane Simpson)

Mandate Letter

  • Develop a basic-income pilot to test whether giving people a basic income is an effective way to reduce poverty, improve health, housing and employment.
  • Design and implement a province-wide poverty-reduction strategy with legislated targets and timelines.
  • Work in partnership to develop a homelessness action plan to reduce the homeless population through permanent housing and services. As part of the plan, conduct a province-wide homelessness count.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Lisa Beare)

Mandate Letter

  • Double the Province’s investment in the B.C. Arts Council over four years.
  • Increase investments in Creative B.C. over four years.
  • Establish an arts infrastructure fund to help provide space for B.C. artists.
  • Work with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to develop a community capital infrastructure fund to upgrade and build sports facilities, playgrounds, local community centres, and arts and culture spaces.

Minister of State for Child Care (Katrina Chen)

Mandate Letter

  • Work with all levels of government, child-care providers, the private and not-for-profit sectors to implement a universal child-care plan that provides affordable, accessible and high-quality care and early learning to every child whose family wants or needs it, starting with infant/toddler programs before gradually expanding.

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