Clark: B.C. priorities for the incoming Trudeau government

I’ve already reached out to Trudeau about our most urgent priority: A new agreement with the United States on softwood lumber.

After the longest federal election campaign in living memory, I hope all the candidates in the Kelowna area, and across the province, took a day or two off with their families.

Putting your name forward and stepping into the often tough world of politics isn’t easy, but our democratic system relies on good people doing just that. Win or lose, they all deserve our thanks and respect.

In particular, I want to congratulate Justin Trudeau, and local MPs Dan Albas, Mel Arnold, Richard Cannings, and Stephen Fuhr. And I want to thank Ron Cannan for his service to Kelowna-Lake Country. Regardless of party affiliation, my job as premier is to work with all federal parties to ensure the federal government understands our priorities. That means supporting our strong, growing and diverse economy, creating the conditions for new jobs, opening new markets in Asia, and investing in critical services and infrastructure.

The results are clear: British Columbia is one of the last few net contributors to confederation. While other provinces struggle to control spending and balance their budgets, we have three consecutive balanced budgets in a row, with a fourth coming next year, and in four years, we’ll eliminate B.C.’s operating debt for the first time in 40 years.

Thanks to your hard work, B.C. is projected to lead Canada in economic growth this year and for years to come; placing our province in an enviable position in Canada. It also means we have the ability to build upon our world-leading education, health care and post-secondary systems. Those are the things we can control—but like any province, British Columbia needs a strong federal partner.

I’ve already reached out to Trudeau about our most urgent priority: A new agreement with the United States on softwood lumber. The now-expired 2006 agreement saw $2.4 billion in duties returned to B.C. companies—a huge boost for one of B.C.’s largest and most significant economic engines.

Forestry is responsible for more than 145,000 direct and indirect jobs. While we’ve made great strides diversifying our export markets, particularly in Asia, the U.S. isn’t going anywhere—it will always be a crucial market. It’s critical to have a stable agreement with our largest softwood trading partner.

We also need a federal partner to support a once-in-a-generation opportunity in liquefied natural gas. The Pacific NorthWest LNG project, currently under review by the federal government, represents a US$36-billion investment, 330 direct operational long-term jobs, 300 local spin-off jobs, up to 4,500 jobs at peak construction, as well as contract, supply, and other economic opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses across the province.

I look forward to working with Prime Minister Trudeau to ensure B.C. can continue to contribute to this country like never before.

Just Posted

Growing Okanagan tech sector hailed in new report

Study shows sector employees 12, 474 workers and is worth $1.67 billion to regional economy

Okanagan Sun tackle Chilliwack Saturday in BCFC action

The Sun will be looking for revenge at home after Corn Huskers beat them 22-18 earlier in season

Okanagan tech industry booming, contributes over $1.6 billion to regional economy

New study shows Okanagan tech sector contributes over $1.6 billion to regional economy

Kelowna church closes and makes room for Starbright

Starbright Children’s Development Centre meeting need for space with major real estate purchase

Black Mountain / sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park starts to take shape

Student volunteers from three local schools work on trail building project

Pavement Patty slows drivers near Rutland Elementary

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read