B.C. Throne Speech: Read the full text of the 2023 speech
The B.C. NDP government, led by new Premier David Eby, has laid out its plans for the coming session of the B.C. legislature on Monday.
Below is the full text of the Throne Speech, delivered by B.C. Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin on Feb. 6, 2023.
Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members. Welcome back.
I would like to start by acknowledging the Lekwungen peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, upon whose territories we are gathered today – and to thank them for sharing these lands in peace and friendship.
As Lieutenant Governor, I am pleased to deliver The Speech from the Throne.
Outlining your government's plans to tackle big challenges and build a stronger, more secure future for everyone who calls this beautiful province home.
As has become tradition, we begin by remembering those we have lost in the past year.
Last September, British Columbians were deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She visited our province seven times, six as reigning monarch. Her service and dedication to duty will long be remembered.
We mourn Indigenous leaders: Kat Norris, Tla'kwagila Arthur Dick Sr., Hitlamas Tom Henderson, Chief Allan Tom, Chief Roger Adolph, Dini ze' Madeek Jeff Brown, and Chief Ken Baird.
We mourn those who once served in this legislature: Anne Edwards, Gary Lauk, Patrick McGeer, Clifford Michael, Bob Skelly, Clive Tanner, and Jack Weisgerber. As we also mourn George MacMinn, the former clerk of the Legislature.
We mourn the philanthropist Joseph Segal; community activists Ronald Lou-Poy and Tommy Wong; advocates Chrissy Brett, Greg Gowe, Sid Chow Tan, Robin Krause, and Mary Wynne Ashford; local leaders Helen Fathers, Helen Hughes and George Puil; and, from the world of journalism, political columnist Jim Hume, and music critic Tom Harrison.
From the arts world, we mourn dancer Bebe Eversfield, conductor Bramwell Tovey, composer Joseph Koo, actor Pat John, singer Susan Jacks, artist Rodney Graham, gallery owner Thor Froslev, guitarists Ziggy Sigmund and Jerry Doucette, as well as Oscar winning documentary filmmaker John Zaritsky.
From the world of sports, we mourn Tom Masich, Ernie Dougherty, Gino Odjick, and Olympic gold medallist rower Kevin Neufeld.
We also mourn with the First Nations communities who continue their searches of residential school sites, and we reflect on the many losses in recent years from COVID 19 and the poisoned drug supply.
To everyone who lost a loved one last year, we acknowledge your grief and share in it.
HAVING YOUR BACK IN UNCERTAIN TIMES
We open this session of the legislature at a time when people are facing real challenges.
Global inflation is squeezing household budgets.
Food prices are going up.
It's hard to find a doctor.
We continue to see mental health and addiction challenges brought on by the pandemic and toxic drug crisis.
Housing costs continue to rise as our population grows and interest rates increase.
People in B.C. are working harder than ever.
But many feel like they're just getting by, not getting ahead.
People who work hard and play by the rules need someone on their side. Your government will be there for you.
From climate change and global conflicts to threats to democracy, this can feel like an uncertain time – not just in B.C., but around the world.
While we can't control global forces, we can take steps to protect people and build the more secure future for our province that we all want.
When threats are at the door, government must be in your corner, standing with you and your family while helping to build a stronger future.
Over the next year, your government will keep working hard with people across our province, country, and the world.
To make sure you have a more secure home, more secure health care, a good paying job, and more confidence when the bills come at the end of the month.
BUILDING A STRONGER FUTURE
Before the pandemic hit, we were starting to see the results of your government's work on the things that matter most to people.
There's no doubt COVID 19 set us back.
Government had to respond and shift our focus to keeping people safe and businesses afloat.
As we emerge from the pandemic, we face big choices to ensure security for you and your family in the face of likely economic storms.
Putting people at the centre of your government's choices has resulted in economic growth that allows us to deliver even more.
Investing in child care meant that B.C. led Canada in women being able to return to work.
Careful management of the pandemic meant we closed as little of our economy as possible.
While the highest supports in Canada meant businesses were ready to get back at it when we re opened.
Responsible management of our natural resources meant revenue set new records.
Restructuring our public insurer put ICBC back on solid financial footing and provided people with some of the lowest rates in Canada, instead of losing billions of dollars.
Unemployment rates have been near record lows, with more people working than before the pandemic and more job opportunities.
All of this has led to a multi billion dollar surplus this year.
Still, economists are predicting a global slow down.
Because we are a province that thrives on export and international relationships, this year's surplus won't be there next year.
Your government has a proactive plan to deal with these global trends.
It will put this year's surplus to work for people – to support them now and for the long term.
By reducing costs for families and helping businesses attract the talent they need.
By growing our health care workforce to cut wait times and give more people access to a family doctor.
By building more homes that people who live and work in our communities can afford.
By giving record support to cities and regions, rural and urban, that have grown quickly.
By fighting climate change and growing a cleaner economy through innovation, partnerships, and stronger export relationships.
These choices will pay off immediately and over the long term.
Some say we should respond to a downturn by pulling back, reducing services, or by making people pay out of pocket for health care.
But that would make many of our most serious challenges worse and pass down costs at a time when people can least afford it.
There's too much at stake right now to pull back on supports for people who are only now finding their footing after the pandemic.
We couldn't afford short term thinking before. And we certainly can't afford it now.
In a chaotic world, B.C. is doing things differently.
Stable. Secure. Stronger. And more sustainable.
INVESTING TODAY TO BUILD A STRONGER TOMORROW
Your government will continue to make choices that put people first with the introduction of a new budget at the end of this month.
Budget 2023 will make smart investments today to build a stronger tomorrow.
It will make record new investments to improve public health care and deliver more housing for middle class families.
It will ensure we build the hospitals, schools, childcare centres, roads, and public transit that make us stronger.
It will introduce new measures to address the cost of living, especially for those most vulnerable.
And it will help people train for the jobs of the future, while helping businesses find the talent they need to grow.
HELPING PEOPLE WITH COSTS
By far the biggest source of anxiety for people right now is the rising cost of living.
B.C. is an incredibly desirable place to live, but that can also make it an expensive one.
Global inflation and the long lasting impacts of the pandemic are only making it harder – at the grocery store, at the gas pump, and when looking for housing.
In just the last few months, your government has taken significant action to help put money back in your pockets.
The new B.C. Affordability Credit landed in bank accounts at the start of the new year to help 85% of British Columbians with increased costs.
As much as $410 for a family of four went to British Columbians last month.
Basic car insurance rates have been frozen for another two years, and a $100 credit reduced everyone's hydro bill.
In December 2022, child care costs were reduced again, this time by as much as $550 more a month for each child, or over $6,000 a year in additional savings.
This has been life changing for many parents.
As stocking the cupboards with nutritious food or even a night out at a restaurant becomes more feasible.
These cost saving measures build on the work your government has done over the last five years.
To reduce ICBC rates by an average of $490 a year.
To end bridge tolls in the Lower Mainland.
And to eliminate medical premiums – representing the largest middle class tax cut in a generation.
But even with all of this, people and families are still feeling squeezed.
That's why your government will keep working to help people with new measures targeted to those who need it most, including people with lower incomes and families with children.
And this fall, the significant child care savings your government delivered for children who are kindergarten age and younger will be extended to parents with school age kids.
PUTTING PEOPLE WHO PLAY BY THE RULES FIRST
To truly feel secure, working people must also be paid and treated fairly on the job.
Over the last five years, B.C.'s minimum wage has gone from one of the lowest in Canada to the highest among provinces.
Workers' right to join a union and negotiate for better wages and working conditions has been protected.
And B.C. became the first province in Canada with five days paid sick leave, so workers don't need to choose between going to work sick and putting food on the table.
In this spring session, your government will continue to put honest people who play by the rules first.
It will introduce new pay transparency legislation.
A critical tool to shine a light on the gender pay gap and move closer to equal pay for equal work.
And it will go after organized criminals, rich tax evaders, and corrupt officials from around the world who mistakenly think they can hide in B.C. at the expense of hard working people.
Your government is going to send a strong message by seizing their homes and profits.
Using the proceeds to support British Columbians who want strong, safe, and secure communities.
A DECENT HOME YOU CAN AFFORD
For most British Columbians, their biggest expense by far is housing costs – whether renting or paying a mortgage.
The stability and security provided by an affordable home is also key to building a good life here in British Columbia.
Yet, finding a decent place to call home is challenging right now.
For too long, the housing market has worked very well for speculators.
And it has worked very well for investors who have used the housing crisis to make excessive profits by purchasing homes and flipping them for a higher price.
All of this has driven up the cost of housing and put it out of reach for many people.
In its first five and a half years, your government took important action to deliver the homes people need.
It cracked down on speculation with the Speculation and Vacancy Tax.
Which helped turn 20,000 empty condos into rental homes for people in Metro Vancouver alone.
Helping to keep housing prices and rents lower than they would have been.
And your government started making urgently needed investments in affordable housing of every kind after decades of neglect.
We're starting to see the results of these efforts.
For example, construction of rental housing for people was up 10% last year.
The highest ever on record and seven times what it was a decade ago.
Despite that improvement, we are facing new housing pressures coming out of the pandemic – from interest rates to record population growth.
The loss of existing buildings and an overall lack of supply can't meet the needs of our growing population.
That's why your government has recently removed unfair strata restrictions so empty condos become rental units for people.
It is investing $500 million in a new Rental Protection Fund.
A fund that will safeguard renters against evictions or rent hikes by the big investment companies that want to buy affordable rental buildings and make money through exploitation and eviction.
It is working with municipalities to set ambitious targets to deliver more housing where it is needed most.
And it is breaking down permitting barriers that are preventing new homes from getting built quickly.
In the months ahead, your government will make major new investments to increase housing and services near public transit hubs around the province.
It will also launch a refreshed housing strategy.
In the Fall session – after working with local governments, homebuilders and communities – new laws will be introduced to turn that strategy into new affordable homes.
More homes for middle class families – instead of profit for speculators.
More homes for seniors.
More homes and support for people with the greatest need.
STRENGTHENING PUBLIC HEALTH CARE
Another top concern for British Columbians is making sure health care is there when they need it.
The pandemic strained patients, their families, and health care workers to their very core.
At the same time, we are also facing a record respiratory and flu season, the toxic drug crisis, an aging population and rapid growth.
This combination of factors means that too many people can't find a family doctor, or they're waiting too long in emergency rooms.
Our health care workers need more support from us than ever.
These challenges are not unique to British Columbia.
There are debates right now about the future of universal medicare around the country.
Some jurisdictions are pushing for more privatization, allowing the wealthiest to buy their way to the front of the line.
Make no mistake, that doesn't fix the line.
It would only lead to more costs and longer lines for the rest of us.
And it is a dangerous step towards a two tiered system we know British Columbians do not want.
We need doctors, nurses, and health sciences professionals.
Pulling them out of hospitals into private surgery clinics will not solve problems for patients.
It would just mean we're paying more to pad the profits of the clinic operator instead of supporting our patients.
You can count on your government to strengthen public health care and increase our ability to do surgeries, offer family doctors, and make sure people have care they can count on.
Once again, our province is doing things differently by putting patients first.
Private surgical centres and thousands of privatized health care workers are being brought back into the public system.
Instead of privatizing, your government is working every day to achieve its vision of connecting people to strong public health care that doesn't cost them more.
Investing in new hospitals, a new medical school at SFU, and expanded medical school at UBC, and a new deal that will help more people find a family doctor.
And action is being taken to get more internationally trained doctors, nurses, and health workers into our hospitals and clinics to provide care to British Columbians.
2,000 internationally educated nurses are being fast tracked in health care right now.
In the last year, another 5,500 nurses have said they want to work in B.C. and we're ready to welcome them here.
We're moving toward a historic agreement on health care funding with the federal government.
This is good news, but after the pandemic there is a lot more to do to get back on track.
There is also a need to connect more people with substance use care, where and when they need it.
That's why your government will build on historic investments in saving lives with further expansion of treatment and recovery services, so more people can access care.
As our population increases and ages, there is a growing demand for all health services, and in particular cancer care.
Close to 90 people every day are diagnosed with cancer in B.C. – that number will only increase.
After a cancer diagnosis, nobody should be stuck waiting for treatment they urgently need.
That's why your government will continue its work to build our health workforce and fight cancer with new investments to enhance access to screening and early detection, diagnostic imaging, and treatments.
People in B.C. want to know that our province is a safe place to build a life and raise a family.
But communities in B.C. – and across North America – are seeing our streets change for the worse.
This did not happen overnight.
It's the product of more than a decade of cuts to supports and services in B.C. and chronic underinvestment in housing.
It's a consequence of changes to federal laws and subsequent Supreme Court decisions.
It's the product of a toxic drug supply that hurts even more people than it kills, leaving them with serious brain injuries and struggling in our streets.
At the same time, and for related reasons, we've seen a rise in violent and repeat offending across the country.
What's happening now isn't working for anyone. And your government is determined to change that.
There is no one solution – it will take collaboration between police, prosecutors, mental health experts and community service providers.
GETTING REPEAT VIOLENT OFFENDERS OFF OUR STREETS
What we do know is this:
Being compassionate for those on the street and taking action on mental health does not mean we accept repeated criminal behaviour or violence.
Your government will not rest until every British Columbian feels safe.
In this legislative session, you will see new measures to keep people and communities safe.
Legislation will be introduced to crack down on gangs and money laundering.
As part of its Safer Communities Action Plan, your government is implementing new response teams to track, arrest and jail repeat violent offenders.
These teams are made up of police, dedicated prosecutors, and probation officers.
It is investing to ensure the RCMP can operate to its full capacity to keep people safe, particularly in rural British Columbia.
Because when people facing violence call 911, they need to know help is on the way.
The B.C. Prosecution Service has been directed to strengthen their bail policy.
The public needs to have confidence that bail rules for violent offenders make sense and keep everyone safe.
And your government is joining with all provinces and territories to press for urgent reforms to Criminal Code bail rules.
TAKING ACTION ON MENTAL HEALTH AND HOMELESSNESS
Your government's plan also focuses on getting supports to people living on our streets.
It is expanding mental health crisis response teams into more communities, so people in crisis get help from mental health experts, and so police are freed up to focus on crime.
When a person's violent or disruptive behaviour results from mental health and substance use, they need treatment to get better.
That's why your government is working on a new model of addictions care.
One that moves people seamlessly from detox to treatment and fills the gaps between services where people might relapse and fall through the cracks.
It's why your government has worked overtime to make sure those struggling with addiction turn to doctors and nurses, not predatory drug dealers.
To get people who are sick access to treatment and the opportunity to get better.
Urgent action is being taken in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver to move people from dangerous encampments to more secure housing.
And a long term plan is being developed with every level of government and the community to address the ongoing crisis in that neighbourhood.
With similar strategies to move from decampments to decent homes in communities around the province grappling with this issue.
Because a plan for safer communities must include the safety of those living on our streets.
SUPPORTING STRONG AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES
Our population is growing quickly.
People are choosing to move to British Columbia in record numbers from across the country and around the world, for the stability and opportunity we offer in this province.
We set a record last year. We have already set a record this year.
This growth is our strength.
These new arrivals will make our province stronger, and all of them bring skills and contributions we need – including nurses, doctors, and health care professionals.
Cities big and small are on the front lines of this growth.
British Columbians want sustainable, fun, and welcoming communities.
They want governments working together to build roads, parks, and community centres that people need to enjoy and move around their communities.
That's why B.C. will make record investments to support local governments in responding to the growth they are seeing in a way that makes our communities stronger and more liveable for families.
It will also continue funding enrolment growth in classrooms, recruitment of new teachers, and building new schools in fast growing parts of the province.
Progress will continue on the Broadway Subway project in Vancouver and the Surrey to Langley Skytrain, the first rapid transit project south of the Fraser River in 30 years.
A rural community strategy will respond to the unique needs of a growing rural British Columbia.
Roads, bridges and childcare centres will be built and maintained in every part of the province – to support parents and families that commute to work and want to spend more time at home.
Your government will also continue to take action to combat hatred and racism to ensure our communities are safer and more inclusive.
This year, a new anti racism action plan has been launched for K 12 students to ensure schools are welcoming places for everyone.
Working in partnership with Indigenous, Black and other people of colour, B.C. will release data to help identify and address systemic discrimination and barriers in government programs and services as part of the Anti Racism Data Act.
And legislation will be introduced in this session to address the malicious and exploitative non consensual sharing of intimate images.
RECONCILIATION AND PARTNERSHIP WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
Foundational to all of your government's work is partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
The people who have always been here, on this land, since time immemorial.
Starting in 2017, we have worked in collaboration to bring transformational changes to B.C.'s laws, structures, and policies.
From the unanimous passage of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act in this legislature, to the first consent based, decision making agreement under the act with the Tahltan, we've come a long way together.
Your government's vision for B.C. moving forward is one that recognizes inherent rights as our greatest act of reconciliation, and respect.
By working together, historic progress is being made.
B.C. is now the first province to recognize – in law – the inherent rights of Indigenous communities to provide their own child and family services.
Investments are being made in both on and off reserve housing, making B.C. the first province to do so.
Like in N'quatqua, where families are moving into new affordable rental homes in the community's first new housing development in more than a decade.
We are working together with Indigenous Peoples to close the unjust gap in access to primary health care services.
Just a few months ago, patients started receiving care at the new First Nations Wellness Centre in Williams Lake.
Through work on the BC First Nations Justice Strategy, we're starting to address the over representation of Indigenous people in the justice system.
By breaking the cycle of jail and release and addressing the poverty, trauma and health issues that brought the person to the justice system in the first place.
In Prince Rupert, Prince George and Merritt, people are getting meaningful supports to break that cycle closer to home in new Indigenous Justice Centres, and 10 more are on the way.
A few weeks ago, Blueberry River First Nations and other Treaty 8 Nations reached significant agreements with the provincial government that commit to respecting Treaty 8 rights by finding a new balance of environmental restoration and resource development.
Such agreements are based on our shared experience that full partnership and respect is the only constructive way forward.
Not endless court battles.
Not short term transactional relationships.
The future lies in a rights based partnership approach to decisions respecting land, water and resource stewardship.
We will ensure this future through the ongoing implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
One that will provide stability and predictability for industry, while ensuring First Nations can meaningfully exercise their rights.
One that recognizes First Nations working to pursue sustainable economic development and long term partnerships with industry, benefit not just First Nations – but everyone around them, now and into the future.
A CLEANER ECONOMY THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE
Investing in the people of our province has helped us build the strongest economic recovery in Canada.
But with a global economic slowdown on the horizon, more must be done to support B.C. businesses.
They have the customers to grow, but labour shortages and supply chain disruptions hold them back.
This spring, your government will introduce Future Ready.
A skills training action plan to make education and training more accessible, affordable, and relevant to help prepare British Columbians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
It's a plan that will give more opportunity to every British Columbian.
One that will help people expand the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in high demand, good paying jobs.
Your government will also continue work to develop a Goods Movement Strategy that will ensure goods are moving as efficiently as possible so businesses can scale up.
It will expand our low cost, clean energy potential through electrical generation and the promise of hydrogen.
To leverage our strengths and attract new economic opportunities across the province.
This means British Columbians will continue to be able to access safe, affordable electricity even as global fuel prices rise.
To make sure more people are able to work or start a business from home – even in rural and remote areas – your government is working to connect every underserved community to high speed internet by 2027.
It is working with the forest sector to ensure a sustainable industry going forward to retool mills and manufacture value added products, including those that replace plastics made from fossil fuels.
And it continues to work with farmers, ranchers and producers to ensure we have sustainable local food systems while creating opportunities that boost the economy and strengthen food security.
By promoting innovation, it will increase efficiency in food production through the use of new technologies and investments such as the B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation in the Fraser Valley.
All are key pieces of the StrongerBC Economic Plan that will keep guiding us forward. In an increasingly interconnected global economy, B.C. has many natural strengths.
We are a gateway to the Asia Pacific and the United States, and we share many family and cultural ties to countries that are growing rapidly.
To expand our trading relationships and create new opportunities for people and B.C. businesses, your government will make trade missions to emerging markets a priority.
It will also work to remove unnecessary barriers to growth.
The changes being made to speed approvals for housing permits will also be applied to other projects, including those in natural resources and tourism.
Even as we work to fix bureaucratic delays, B.C. will continue to have high standards.
Because that is equally important to our economic future.
International accounting firm KPMG surveyed the heads of the largest companies in the world and here's what they told them:
Businesses embracing environmental, social, and governance priorities – known as ESG – are best able to secure talent, attract loyal customers and raise capital.
These priorities have gone from a “nice to have” to integral to the long term success of their businesses.
Our high standards are a competitive advantage.
One that your government will seek to build on with a new ESG Centre of Excellence.
Our world is changing.
Sometimes in ways that can feel scary, but just as often for the better.
It's only when we confront monumental challenges that we see new opportunities.
Failing to match global action on climate change doesn't just mean more climate disasters.
It also means we'll miss the economic opportunity of a lifetime as our major trading partners look for low carbon technologies, energy, resources and solutions.
As countries set new targets to tackle climate change, B.C. is well positioned to thrive.
We are a clean energy powerhouse.
Our ground breaking CleanBC: Roadmap to 2030 plan puts us on a path to reach net zero, as well as to be leaders in clean and inclusive economic growth.
Last year, B.C. eliminated the largest subsidy for oil and gas companies to give British Columbians a fair return and allow us to reinvest in our priorities.
Over the next number of months, you will see your government act with increased urgency to make sure B.C. meets its ambitious climate targets.
In the spring session, legislation will be introduced to strengthen our ability to ensure polluters pay the cost of environmental cleanup on abandoned sites.
New legislation will also improve access to electric vehicle charging stations in condo buildings.
To fight climate change now and protect this beautiful place for future generations, B.C. will work with Indigenous Peoples, the federal government, industry, workers and communities to protect 30% of our land and water by 2030.
You will see accelerated work on your government's plan to protect more of B.C.'s old growth forests in partnership with First Nations rights holders in the months to come.
And you will see work with First Nations, communities and stakeholders to help protect our watersheds – our clean water sources – now and for future generations.
As we take action to protect the environment, we also must prepare for a stark reality: climate change is happening now.
We can see it all around us in B.C. – as we've been hit with one climate disaster after another.
It's clear that we need to be better prepared.
That's why your government is investing to make B.C. an international leader in future proofing our infrastructure to make it more climate resilient.
It is why a new Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness has been created.
And it is why in this spring session, a New Emergency and Disaster Management Act will be introduced to better improve B.C.'s ability to respond and recover from whatever might be in store.
A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR B.C.
Despite everything we've gone through together over the last few years, British Columbians remain relentlessly optimistic about their province.
And with good reason. B.C. is the place to be.
In a time of global economic uncertainty, B.C.'s strong economy continues to attract people from across Canada and around the world.
Vancouver's tech sector is growing at the highest rate in North America.
Mining is booming in British Columbia with record breaking exploration expenditures in 2022. B.C.'s life sciences and agritech sectors are thriving.
In 2021, B.C. saw more growth in new businesses opening their doors than in any other big province.
Our province will play host to national and international sporting events for three years in a row – starting in 2024 with the Grey Cup, followed by the Invictus Games, and the FIFA Men's World Cup.
And this summer will be the grand opening of the Chinese Canadian Museum in Vancouver Chinatown's historic Wing Sang Building.
The future is bright here in B.C.
And your government shares people's sense of optimism about our endless potential.
It is an optimism rooted in the fact that our greatest strength will always be our people.
After all, it is the people of B.C. who got shots into arms, rebuilt highways after flooding, kept kids learning in schools, and businesses thriving in difficult circumstances.
It is the people of B.C. who responded to Vladimir Putin's illegal invasion of a sovereign country a year ago by welcoming fleeing Ukrainians into their homes, places of worship, and communities.
And by helping support those who stayed to defend their country.
Like Tamara Moldon, a nurse in Coquitlam who fled Ukraine as a child, who joined many others to help ship medical supplies to those in need.
ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
If these challenging few years have taught us one thing, it's that going it alone doesn't work.
We're all in this together.
There is nothing British Columbians can't overcome if we keep pulling together and looking out for each other.
Your government believes B.C. should be a place where everyone can build a good life.
Where you can afford to buy or rent a decent home.
Where you feel safe in your home – and your community.
Where health care and public services are there when you need them.
Where there are training opportunities for young people to pursue their dreams.
Where our beautiful natural heritage is protected for future generations.
Where our economy is cleaner and fairer, rewarding those who work hard and play by the rules.
And where we always work in true partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
This is the better, brighter future we all believe in.
We've accomplished so much together, but there's much more to do.
As we begin this legislative session, let's keep working together to build a stronger and more secure British Columbia.
One where we all belong, and no one gets left behind.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
W5 investigates | Priest, neighbours issue plea for help for struggling international students in Cape Breton
Cape Breton University has more than doubled in size by enrolling thousands of international students, and critics say the campus and community weren't ready. Watch the documentary 'Cash Cow' on CTV W5, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Afghan women cyclists who escaped the Taliban are chasing their dreams in Canada
After the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan and banned sports for female athletes, Afghan women cyclists are chasing their dreams in Canada.
Unable to leave Syria, mothers of Canadian children forfeit repatriation to keep their families together
In a choice forced upon them by the Canadian government, four mothers have made the agonizing decision to forfeit an opportunity to repatriate their children from open air prisons in northeast Syria.
Recent immigrants more likely to have confidence in Parliament, Canadian media: Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada has released its new report about the Canadians level of confidence in Canada’s institutions, finding that recent immigrants are more likely to express confidence in the media and parliament.
Federal minimum wage, taxes on alcohol: Here's what's changing in Canada April 1
The federal minimum wage is increasing from $15.55 per hour to $16.65, and taxes are going up on gas and alcohol nationwide starting April 1.
A glass of wine or beer per day is fine for your health: new study
A new Canadian study of 4.8 million people says a daily alcoholic drink isn't likely to send anyone to an early grave, nor will it offer any of the health benefits touted by previous studies, even if it is organic red wine.
MP Han Dong issues libel notice to Global News over China interference reporting
Lawyers representing Toronto MP Han Dong served Global News with a libel notice on Friday over reports that alleged he spoke to a Chinese diplomat in February 2021 about delaying the release of the two Michaels, and that he was a 'witting affiliate' of Chinese interference networks – allegations that Dong denies.
Here's what to expect from the Canadian cottage market this year
A recent report from Royal LePage is predicting a drop in prices for Canadian cabins and cottages this year as demand softens from economic uncertainty and low housing stock.
Interim RCMP commissioner would support Criminal Code changes for stricter gun laws
Interim RCMP commissioner Michael Duheme says he would support the Criminal Code changes recommended in the Mass Casualty Commission report to implement stricter gun laws.
Popular Othello Tunnels not expected to reopen this year
A major tourist attraction and historical landmark near Hope, B.C., remains closed more than 16 months after being damaged by floods.
Vancouver lawyer banned from financial markets for role in U.S. fraud
B.C.'s securities regulator has permanently banned a Vancouver lawyer from the financial markets after he was convicted in a U.S. court for his role in a US$34-million fraud.
No more paying for prescription birth control: B.C. to make Canadian history April 1
Paying for prescription birth control will be a thing of the past in British Columbia starting Saturday, marking a Canadian first.
Harm reduction group alleges excessive force by Edmonton police officers
A local harm reduction group says force used by Edmonton police officers during a recent arrest on Whyte Avenue on Sunday was "appalling."
Edmonton man latest victim in string of violent events on Edmonton public transit
Some Edmonton commuters say they're scared to use public transit amid increasing acts of violence at LRT stations and bus stops around the city.
Police investigating shooting in north Edmonton
The Edmonton Police Service is investigating after gunfire was exchanged near a north Edmonton strip mall.
Should cars be allowed in High Park? Public debate comes to a head
Cherry blossom season is right around the corner – but will you be able to drive inside the park to see the blooms?
Uninsured patients denied scheduled C-sections unless they pay $6,000, midwife says
In one day, Ontario midwife Manavi Handa saw three patients who will have to pay thousands of dollars to be able to schedule a C-section beginning on Sunday.
Ontario driver charged for driving too slow on Highway 401
An Ontario driver has been charged for driving too slow on Highway 401.
Motorcyclist killed in Macleod Trail crash
Emergency crews say a motorcyclist has died in a crash on Macleod Trail and it's suspected that speed was a factor in the incident.
Dangerous suspect has 50 warrants for his arrest, Calgary police say
Calgary police are warning the public about a man wanted on 50 warrants, including firearm and assault charges.
Homicide investigation closes Highway 552 northeast of Okotoks, Alta.
RCMP blocked off a highway southeast of Calgary on Thursday night as part of an investigation, which officials now confirm is connected to a homicide.
Authorities work to identify 8 bodies pulled from St. Lawrence River this week
Akwesasne Mohawk Police say they are working with Immigration Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to confirm the identities of the eight migrants whose bodies were pulled from the St. Lawrence River this week.
Father of Old Montreal fire victim launches $22M lawsuit
A father of one of the seven victims of the deadly Old Montreal fire is suing Airbnb and the owner of the building that burned down for $22 million.
April 1: New parking rules in Montreal as spring street cleaning begins
Montreal's seasonal parking restrictions go into effect Saturday. As of April 1, parking will be limited during certain hours to make way for street cleaning and maintenance operations. Drivers should pay close attention to street signs to determine when and where it's safe to park.
'Impervious to change': doubt, disappointment after initial RCMP response to inquiry recommendations
After the RCMP commissioner admitted he didn't read the Mass Casualty Commission’s final recommendations, family members of those killed in the April 2020 tragedy say they have doubts the force will change.
N.S. doctor denies alleged negligence in case of woman who died after long ER wait
A doctor named in a lawsuit after a Nova Scotia woman died in hospital following a long wait to see a physician has denied allegations from the family that he failed in his duties.
'Nova Scotians' sense of safety was rocked': RCMP failures dominate inquiry's final report into 2020 mass shooting
A long list of failures by Nova Scotia RCMP leadership and policing systems dominate the final report into Nova Scotia's April 2020 mass shooting.
'Waking up to a really bad dream': Manitoba communities mourn four teenagers killed in crash
Multiple Manitoba communities are in mourning following the deaths of four teenagers in a car crash involving a semi-truck on Wednesday.
Zellers to open in Winnipeg next week
The wait is finally over for Winnipeggers who have been wanting to see Zellers make a return to the city.
'I don't feel right paying that money': Winnipeg man fighting phone bill exceeding $3,000
A Winnipeg parent is fighting to have his child's phone bill lowered after it was 10 times higher than normal.
Family of Beau Baker 'deeply concerned' after inquest jury rules his death a suicide
The inquest jury found that Beau Baker, 20, died by suicide with the cause of death being a gunshot wound in the torso.
Packing up Portraits of Honour: Cambridge memorial on the move
A Cambridge memorial that pays tribute to Canada’s fallen soldiers is on the move.
Accused's mother testifies during second-degree murder trial
Chelsea Whitby notified her mom every time her son, Emerson, got a bump or bruise.
Sale of former Sask. government liquor store buildings begins
The sale has started of former Saskatchewan government liquor store buildings. The province got out of liquor retailing earlier this month and is disposing of all assets.
Sask. government offers pay bump for family doctors who work later hours
In an attempt to take pressure off hospital emergency rooms, the Saskatchewan government will offer a bump in pay for family doctors who work later hours.
Fatal farm incident in Alliston under investigation
A 24-year-old man has died after a workplace incident on a farm in Alliston.
Barrie city council considers $40M Sadlon Arena renovations
Tourism Barrie brought a report from a consulting firm to council, recommending upgrades to the arena, including additional seats, modern concessions, and an open grand entrance on the building's north side. The proposed renovations would cost approximately $40 million but could bring significant economic benefits to the city.
Judge grants bail to man convicted of impaired driving causing death on Hwy 12 in 2020
Sigfrid Stahn walked out of the Barrie courthouse Friday a remorseful man one day after a jury found him guilty of impaired driving, causing a collision on Highway 12 in July 2020 that killed a 77-year-old Midland man.
Sask. government offers pay bump for family doctors who work later hours
In an attempt to take pressure off hospital emergency rooms, the Saskatchewan government will offer a bump in pay for family doctors who work later hours.
Saskatoon police want to know where security cameras are
Police in Saskatoon are hoping to create a list of homes and businesses that have security cameras.
'Learn to live with this': Humboldt focuses on future 5 years after bus crash
Kevin Garinger says it feels like the passage of time is inexplicable. The five years since a deadly bus crash changed his city, his hockey team and his life sometimes feel like a lifetime. Other times it feels like yesterday.
Northern Ont. man receives lifetime hunting ban, fined $5,000 for grouse stash
A northern Ontario man has been banned from licenced hunting and fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to having more than six times the legal limit of grouse and obstructing conservation officers.
‘Nobody wants this’: Opposition grows to renaming Chippewa Secondary School
The plan to rename a North Bay high school is receiving tons of backlash online and has sparked outrage from some school alumni and the community.
Six arrested, 2.7 kilos cocaine seized in massive drug bust in Sudbury, GTA
Ontario's guns and gangs team says with the help of police in Sudbury and Durham, it has disrupted a large drug trafficking operation, seizing 2.7 kilograms of cocaine and arresting six.