As you are aware, we have set up a Confidence and Supply Agreement with the B.C. Green caucus. This agreement is critical to the success of our government. Accordingly, the principles of “good faith and no surprises” set out in that document should also guide your work going forward.
As minister, you are responsible for ensuring members of the B.C. Green caucus are appropriately consulted on major policy issues, budgets, legislation and other matters as outlined in our agreement. This consultation should be coordinated through the Confidence and Supply Agreement Secretariat in the Premier’s Office. The secretariat is charged with ensuring that members of the Green caucus are provided access to key documents and officials as set out in the agreement. This consultation and information sharing will occur in accordance with protocols established jointly by government and the B.C. Green caucus, and in accordance with relevant legislation. British Columbians expect our government to work together to advance the public good. That means seeking out, fostering, and advancing good ideas regardless of which side of the house they come from. Our government put forward a progressive vision for a Better B.C. that has won broad support with all members of the legislature. There is consensus on the need to address many pressing issues such as reducing health-care wait times, addressing overcrowded and under-supported classrooms, taking action on climate change, tackling the opioid crisis, and delivering safe, quality, affordable child care for all. As one of my ministers, I expect you to build on and expand that consensus to help us better deliver new leadership for British Columbians. As part of our commitment to true, lasting reconciliation with First Nations in British Columbia our government will be fully adopting and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. As minister, you are responsible for moving forward on the calls to action and reviewing policies, programs, and legislation to determine how to bring the principles of the declaration into action in British Columbia. In your role as Minister of Agriculture I expect that you will make substantive progress on the following priorities:
Revitalize the Agriculture Land Reserve and the Agricultural Land Commission.
Establish Grow B.C. to help young farmers access land, and support fruit and nut growers and processors to expand local food production.
Initiate Feed B.C. to increase the use of B.C.-grown and processed foods in hospitals, schools, and other government facilities.
Bring back an enhanced Buy B.C. marketing program to help local producers market their products, and work with local producers to expand market access in the rest of Canada and abroad.
Work with growers, processors, colleges and universities, as well as the Minister of Advanced Education and the Minister of State for Trade, to develop a B.C. Food Innovation Centre to innovate in the processing, packaging and marketing of B.C. food products, linking local food producers with new technology, and expanding exports and access to world markets.