BOMA BC Advocacy Update 3: Premier David Eby Announces New Cabinet
On December 7th, 2022, newly sworn in Premier of British Columbia, David Eby, announced a new Cabinet, positioning it as a plan to take action on cost of living, health care, housing and climate.
BOMA BC has a strong working relationship with the current NDP Government and several cabinet ministers, and we look forward to working with the newly appointed Cabinet.
BC is facing several challenges right now, from public safety, to affordability, to health care, to climate change impacts. In just a few short weeks, the Premier has already made several announcements on prolific offenders, boosting housing supply, and family doctor shortages and hospital wait times.
To address some of these issues, the Premier announced two new ministries today, the Ministry of Housing, and the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness. Rising stars Ravi Kahlon and Bowinn Ma were placed in these high-profile new portfolios.
BC will have a new Finance Minister Katrine Conroy, and a new Attorney General, Niki Sharma. With a large and unexpected budgetary surplus this year, Minister Conroy will play a critical role in determining how the Province will allocate its newfound windfall. Minister Sharma will oversee how the Province addresses the longstanding issues of prolific offenders and rising crime.
Here are some of BOMA BC’s top issues, and the new Ministers overseeing these portfolios:
Minister Selina Robinson has been shuffled out of Finance for Minister Katrine Conroy. Minister Robinson and the Premier clashed over the Housing portfolio, and she was not expected to stay on as Finance Minister.
However, Minister Conroy was not a high-profile member of cabinet, surprising onlookers about her significant promotion. Minister Conroy is a rural MLA from Kamloops, which may have factored into the Premier’s decision.
BOMA BC enjoyed a very productive working relationship with the former Minister of Finance, Selina Robinson. From consultations regarding BC’s property assessment system, to the 5% Clean Building Tax Credit, Minister Robinson worked collaboratively with BOMA BC on important issues for our members.
We will work with the new Minister on issues around highest and best use taxation on development potential, C-PACE, and other tax incentives to help our industry decarbonize.
Issue: The Environment
Premier David Eby faced opposition from the more climate conscious elements of his party during his leadership race, and it’s a file he will be paying close attention to.
Minister George Heyman will be staying on as Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, indicating the Premier will largely stay the course on its big picture existing climate change policies.
The new Minister of the newly created Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, Bowinn Ma, has a strong record on climate change, and her portfolio overseeing response to climate emergencies indicates this will be a top priority for the Government.
However, Premier Eby has appointed a new Minister of Energy Mines and Low Carbon Innovation -Josie Osborne. This is a critical Ministry for BOMA BC, overseeing issues around EV Charging, BC Hydro, Renewable Energy and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Carbon Credits.
Environmental policies and the push to decarbonize existing buildings have strong implications for existing buildings and the commercial real estate industry. BOMA BC has enjoyed a productive relationship with the Province as we’ve worked together to advocate for clean energy incentives, and design flexible policies to help our industry collaboratively move towards cleaner buildings.
BOMA BC recently had a productive meeting with the Minister of Environment, George Heyman, where they discussed BOMA BEST, decarbonization incentives including C-PACE, and our industry’s progress in decarbonizing the built environment.
Issue: Labour Shortages
Labour shortages are a challenge across the country, and particularly for our industry. By creating a new Workforce Development portfolio, the Premier is indicating that filling the labour shortage will be a top priority for his government. Minister Robinson is also a high-profile Minister, and her new portfolio will raise its profile in Cabinet.
BOMA BC is actively engaged with the Province to help address our labour shortage challenges. There are opportunities for collaboration with post secondary institutions and the relevant Ministries to encourage more property managers and building operators to join commercial real estate, and we are excited about the opportunity to engage the new ministers.
BOMA BC has also enjoyed a strong working relationship with Minister Selina Robinson in her previous role as Finance Minister, and we are looking forward to continue working with her in her new role as Post Secondary Education Minister.
If you have any questions, please contact our Government Relations Director, Zach Segal, at email@example.com.