What to Expect
Politics in British Columbia will centre around the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual convention in Whistler, which runs all week. Ministers and mayors will mingle and discuss policy and partnerships. The municipalities will also pass resolutions, some of which will press the provincial government on issues such as health care and housing.
A third candidate has entered the NDP leadership race. Cherry Smiley, an Indigenous PhD student and women’s rights advocate, has thrown her hat in the ring to become the next NDP leader and Premier of British Columbia. Smiley is running to bring awareness to struggles facing women, seniors, and people suffering from drug addiction in the province.
Smiley’s entry may alter the policy discussion in the province early this week, but David Eby remains the odds-on favourite to win the leadership race in December.
The Week That Was
Liberal Elenore Sturko won the Surrey South by-election with almost 52 per cent of the vote. It is a seat that was previously held by the Liberals.
Employment has fallen in B.C., with 28,000 fewer jobs filled in August compared to the previous month according to Statistics Canada. Despite this, the province’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.8 per cent last month, which is lower than the national rate of 5.4 per cent.
The B.C. General Employees’ Union and the Public Service Agency have reached a tentative agreement. More details will become available once the ratification process comes to a close between union members and the employers.
The provincial government will be issuing temporary increases to the Climate Action Tax Credit and B.C. Family Benefit in a bid to help address affordability.
B.C.’s First Quarterly Report for the current fiscal year indicates an improved forecast despite continued global uncertainty, with an indicated operating surplus of $706 million for the 2022-23 period.