Premier John Horgan has set out his priorities for a better B.C. in mandate letters to each of his cabinet ministers. These letters were released publicly yesterday (Monday, July 24, 2017).
“Under the Liberal government, families were ignored and left behind. Our priority is helping people and finding solutions to the problems they face,” said Premier Horgan.
“I expect my ministers to work hard every day to deliver on our commitments and make life better for people. It will take time to fix the problems, but we’re committed to getting it done, one step at a time.”
Premier Horgan has instructed his cabinet to deliver on three key priorities for a better British Columbia:
- 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 that achieve these three aims.
Ministers’ mandate letters can be viewed online.
Details from two letters (Transportation and Health) are below, as they are especially relevant to Sooke (Highway 14 and a hospital or improved medical facility, respectively).
Honourable Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure (read the full letter here)
In your role as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure I expect that you will make substantive progress on the following priorities:
- Lead planning to address the infrastructure needs of rural and urban British Columbia under the government’s comprehensive capital infrastructure plan to build a Better B.C.
- Work with the Minister of Finance to eliminate tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges.
- Accelerate Highway 1 upgrades to the Alberta border.
- Work with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to secure federal funding for the Pattullo Bridge replacement and rapid transit in Metro Vancouver as part of implementing the mayor’s 10-year plan for transit and transportation.
- Work with B.C. Transit, the federal government, and local governments to fund transit improvements across the province, including improving HandyDART service
- Work with B.C. Ferries to freeze and reduce fares, and reinstate the senior’s weekday 100% discount, while conducting a comprehensive operating review.
- Ensure that B.C. Ferries procurement practices for new ferries provide for a fair and competitive bidding process that is open to B.C. shipyards.
- Work with the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General to create a fair approach to ridesharing.
Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health (read the full letter here)
In your role as Minister of Health I expect that you will make substantive progress on the following priorities:
- Prioritize the provision of team-based primary care by establishing urgent family-care centres across the province.
- Improve rural health services and expand the medical travel allowance for those who must travel for care.
- Work with the Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to improve and strengthen services to ensure seniors receive dignified and quality care.
- Invest in more paramedics.
- Work to reduce wait times and implement province-wide co-ordination to manage and actively monitor waitlists.
- Provide the Therapeutics Initiative with the resources it needs to do its job effectively.
- Work with the federal government towards a national Pharmacare program and work with the B.C. Green caucus to develop a proposal to implement an essential drugs program.