Victoria: Premier John Horgan says addressing British Columbia’s housing crisis is his government’s top priority in 2018, but it’s not the only pressing concern on his minority New Democrat government’s to-do list.
Here’s a list of the consultations, audits and reviews the government is expected to complete or undertake in 2018:
Ride Sharing: Legislation to introduce ride sharing in B.C. is
scheduled for next fall after the release of a
government-commissioned review of the taxi industry.
Poverty Reduction: Poverty reduction legislation with targets and timelines is expected in the spring to outline the government’s anti-poverty strategy, including a basic-income pilot project to test whether giving people a basic income is an effective way to fight poverty.
Child Care: More details are expected in February’s budget on a promised 10-year affordable child care program. Earlier this month, the government announced it will spend $33 million to create 3,800 new licensed child-care spaces.
Massey Tunnel: An independent technical review is due in 2018 to determine the best option for replacing the aging Massey Tunnel south of Vancouver. The previous Liberal government had plans to replace it with a 10-lane bridge but Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the plan lacked support from mayors and residents.
Foreign Buyers Tax: The government is reviewing a 15 per cent tax on foreign real estate buyers in Metro Vancouver and an interest-free loan program for first-time home buyers. Horgan says February’s budget will include measures to dampen speculation in the real estate market.
Insurance Corp. of B.C.: : The government ordered a full audit of the Crown auto insurer’s operations, with results due in 2018. Attorney General David Eby said ICBC is in crisis, with financial losses totalling more than $500 million last year.
Aquaculture Policy and Licensing: A committee continues to examine the aquaculture industry, and a report is expected early in 2018. The government announced this month a review of fish processing plants to ensure wild salmon are not impacted by waste products from plants.
Money Laundering at Casinos: An independent review of B.C.’s policies to prevent money laundering, conducted by a retired RCMP gaming crime expert, is due in 2018. The review was commissioned after a report concluded a Metro Vancouver casino had taken in $13.5 million that police said could be proceeds of crime.
Marijuana Regulation: The government set 19 as the minimum age to buy and consume legal marijuana when cannabis becomes legal in Canada in July 2018. B.C. must still introduce legislation that regulates the sale and distribution of cannabis and update impaired driving laws.
Human Rights Commission: Legislation to re-establish the Human Rights Commission is due in 2018 after the former Liberal government dismantled it in favour of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
Minimum Wage: A fair wages commission was established in October to advise the government how to move towards a $15 minimum wage with regular, measured and predictable increases. The commission’s first report to Labour Minister Harry Bains is expected early in 2018.