The world is yours, B.C.
OK, what's in store for British Columbia? As I write this on a July evening, I bet you're still waiting to find out. The BC Liberals have packed up their tent after 16 years in charge, falling to an NDP minority government led by John Horgan and supported by Andrew Weaver's Green Party. The NDP couldn't wait to see the end of defeated premier Christy Clark, but they've already been reminded that running this province, as they did in the old days, is no easy task. If anything, it's tougher than when a Clark named Glen ruled the land.
From youth unemployment and unaffordable housing to health-care costs and the pipeline debate, Premier Horgan faces a raft of problems with no quick fixes. How ably will he respond, and how much will he backtrack on election pledges as fiscal and political reality take hold?
Whatever the new gang in Victoria does, it's bound to disappoint people who voted NDP as well as those who didn't. Powerful interests can't be happy about a promised ban on corporate and union donations; Attorney General David Eby's recent statement that his government won't deliberately delay permits for Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd.'s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion—for fear of costly lawsuits—must have rankled believers in Horgan's bitumen-jar routine on the campaign trail.
One thing I'd like the NDP to reaffirm is the value of international trade, despite protectionist moves by governments in the U. S. and elsewhere. For B.C. businesses of all stripes and sizes, exports are a growth engine. In our cover feature, “Trade School” ( p. 28), associate editor Marcie Good focuses on four smaller companies that have been rewarded for seeking opportunities abroad. Besides making innovative products that customers in other countries want, they keep an open mind in a world where some are pushing to close borders. I hope their stories, eloquently told by Good, will inspire you to do the same.
“Trade School” is the latest collaboration with our partner the BC Chamber of Commerce, which recently unveiled a smart rebranding under president and CEO Val Litwin. He and his team, whose mission is to know what's on B.C.'S mind, take an evidence-based approach by canvassing their 36,000 members at every turn. For the BC Chamber, that means better data with which to represent businesses in every corner of the province. For us, it means access to those companies so we can share their successes with you. Stay tuned for more.