Ag and rural B.C. in the throne speech

Ag and rural B.C. in the throne speech
Feb 07, 2023

The industry received few mentions during Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin’s speech

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

B.C.’s agriculture industry received a few small mentions during the Speech from the Throne on Feb. 6.

Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin delivered the speech to open the fourth session of B.C.’s 42nd Parliament and set out the priorities for Premier David Eby’s government.

One mention of agriculture came when Austin talked of the government’s intention to introduce Future Ready this spring.

Future Ready is an action plan to make education and training more accessible and affordable to farmers.

“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,” the speech says. “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 Innvation in the Fraser Valley.”

And when speaking about B.C.’s future, Austin mentioned agritech as a sector that’s “thriving.”

The word “rural” appears five times in the throne speech’s text.

The first mention of rural B.C. in the speech is related to the Future Ready program and digital connectivity.

“To make sure 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.”

B.C. is operating with a “multi-billion dollar surplus” this year.

One way the Eby government plans to use that money is to give “record support to cities and regions, rural and urban, that have grown quickly.”

Another mention of rural B.C. came when the speech touched on making communities safer.

As part of the government’s Safer Communities Action Plan, “it is investing to ensure the RCMP can operate to its full capacity to keep people safe, particularly in rural British Columbia.”

The fifth time rural B.C. is mentioned is in a section of the throne speech about supporting strong and inclusive communities.

“A rural community strategy will respond to the unique needs of a growing rural British Columbia,” the speech says.

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