B.C. throne speech pays homage 2010 Olympics
This year's speech comes at a time of political upheaval in the province, with both the premier and leader of the Opposition unexpectedly on their way out of politics.
The Liberals will elect a new party leader to succeed Campbell on Feb. 26 and the New Democrats elect a new leader to replace Carole James on April 17.
"British Columbia reached new heights with the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games," said Lt.-Gov. Steven Point.
"A new decade of international opportunity and economic and social development lies before us all."
Five pages of the short, 13-page speech are dedicated to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.
Point said the B.C. government will honour each of the province's medal winners in the coming days. The speech also acknowledges the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashivili, who died at the opening of the Games in a crash at the Whistler sliding track.
There is a climate of political change in British Columbia, Point said, ushering in a new period of change and ideas but the government, with its budget Tuesday, will ensure smooth and orderly transition during the period of new leadership.
The governing Liberals will release a provincial budget Tuesday that Finance Minister Colin Hansen has already said will contain no surprises ahead of the leadership vote.
"With change there is always excitement and opportunity to discover new paths ahead and new means of achieving our shared goal and a better future for us all," Point read.
The speech did not directly mention Campbell's accomplishments as premier, but it described in detail the path his government has taken since first elected nearly ten years ago.
"Since 2001, B.C.'s businesses, large and small, have helped create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, so today in British Columbia well over two million people have jobs that support their families and add to the quality of life in their communities," Point said.
He said the government's social agenda, especially regarding homeless people and services for vulnerable children and families, has made progress, "but more needs to be done."
The speech also highlights the current climate of political change in B.C., saying that the province is on the cusp of new leadership and new ideas.