As the founder and CEO of a successful tech company, I know first-hand the nearly unlimited potential offered by the tech industry for families and communities across our province. So far, we have barely scratched the surface. This industry brings an incredible potential to transform how we work, how we learn, and how we interact with government in communities across BC. But we need a leader who understands the tech industry and understands what the industry needs from government to succeed.

As the next leader of the BC Liberal Party, and next Premier of British Columbia, I will…

The Next Industrial Revolution – Making Disruptive Technologies work for B.C.

Another industrial revolution is upon us and British Columbians need a leader and a government that is prepared to deal with the impacts and opportunities it will bring.

This industrial revolution is all about technology – about bringing the physical, biological and digital world closer together. This will occur through the use of artificial intelligence, advanced data analytics, Internet of things and mixed reality. It is going to create significant opportunities for new businesses as well as helping traditional industries reinvent their operations to become more efficient and innovative.

I will champion the following initiatives:

    • Create a Disruptive Technology Advisory Council including technology leaders, post-secondary, government, labour and the private sector to identify challenges and opportunities.
    • Ensure all government programs are capturing the advantages of technology, starting with a full review of all government services to explore what can be delivered more efficiently through online portals. Online auto insurance renewal is one example of this.
    • Expand the coding education beyond grades 6-9 in our schools.
    • Work with rural communities and First Nations to ensure all British Columbians no matter where they live have the tools and opportunities to succeed including access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet and cellular coverage.
    • Create a procurement service to better connect the technology needs of government with local tech innovators of all sizes

Cascadia comes to B.C.

BC is proud of its homegrown tech success stories like Slack, Hootsuite, Avigilon, Stemcell Technologies, and D-Wave systems, as well as our success attracting global leaders like Microsoft and Amazon to come to BC.

I will work with local and global tech leaders to continue to attract tech to BC and ensure that we are creating jobs for the next generation of British Columbians. In particular, we will need to build on the momentum for partnership between British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California and explore the opportunities related to greater collaboration in industry, government and academia to propel the tech industry forward. This includes exploring better transportation connections such as high speed rail and expanded flight routes.

Working with Other Levels of Government

BC needs a Premier that understands the technology industry and the benefits it will bring to people’s lives, but also the importance of working in partnership with other levels of government, both here in Canada and abroad to fully realize this opportunity. For example, BC has a strong federal Supercluster proposal focused digital technology. I will work with leaders from the tech community, the federal government, and other stakeholders to ensure this goal as well as other potential opportunities and partnerships are realized.

Transitional Tech Economy Fund

Much of our tech industry is supporting and strengthening our traditional resource sector, but to assist those whose livelihoods might be negatively impacted by technology, I would establish a $100 Million transitional economy fund for re-training and other programs in communities across the province.

Life Sciences

BC is a North American leader in life sciences, which is a significant contributor to the provincial economy as well as contributing to the health of British Columbians. I ensure we are closely working with the life sciences community to better support bringing their innovative ideas to reality.

Partnership with BC’s Academic Sector

Government and the Tech Sector cannot capitalize on the opportunities that will come with technology without partnering with BC’s K-12 system and post-secondary institutions. We must work with teachers, trustees, and others to ensure curriculum is being developed that trains students for jobs in the new tech economy. We must also make sure there are more Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) seats at BC’s post-secondary institutions.

Supporting BC Innovation and Intellectual Property

BC’s needs to foster a culture of innovation and retain its intellectual property, so we will work with entrepreneurs to remove the barriers to maintaining investments in BC. We will also work with universities so they can be much more effective in technology transfer, commercialization, and entrepreneurship.