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«The Honourable Iona Campagnolo Lieutenant-Governor — at the — Opening of the Third Session, Thirty-Eighth Parliament — of the — Province of ...»

-- [ Page 4 ] --

Central to your government’s Great Goal on job creation is maximizing our Pacific advantage.

The government will invest in B.C.’s ports, airports, railways, roads, and bridges to capitalize on British Columbia’s core competitive advantage — our location as Canada’s only Pacific province.

The heart of your government’s economic vision is British Columbia’s unique competitive advantage — our proximity, cultural ties, and natural connections to the Asia-Pacific.

Our Pacific advantage will have positive impacts in transportation, in research and technology, in trade development, investment, immigration, and tourism.

The government will unleash our Pacific promise as a budding powerhouse of clean, renewable energy;

profitable, sustainable forestry; world-leading technology; high-quality manufacturing; value-added agricultural products; award-winning wines; worldclass mineral deposits; and superb tourism destinations.

Investment in mineral exploration in B.C. soared to a record-high $265 million in 2006 — an 800 per cent increase from 2001.

— 39 — In that one sector alone, our province has incredible potential for new investment, jobs, opportunities, and partnerships with our Asia-Pacific customers.

Several amendments will be introduced this session to enhance mineral exploration and to also afford private property owners new rights of notice before any person can enter their land for mineral exploration.

New legislation will be tabled to facilitate resort development and establish new resort municipalities that open up our Pacific potential in tourism.

Other measures will be aimed at helping small business.

B.C.’s new tourism strategy will target new markets for growth in the Asia-Pacific and new potential for growth in eco-tourism, agri-tourism, Aboriginal tourism, and cultural tourism.

Your government will continue to pursue a true partnership with the Government of Canada to open Canada’s Pacific Gateway.

British Columbians’ tax dollars paid to build the St. Lawrence Seaway 50 years ago. Those investments consolidated Canada’s place as the Atlantic’s primary entrance to the heart of North America. All Canadians benefited.

— 40 — It is time for Canada to make the same commitment and seize the same opportunity for its Pacific Gateway.

The Asia-Pacific Trade Council is building a blueprint for our province to fully seize upon our Pacific potential in key markets.

Japan, China, India, and South Korea are all vital to our future.

The government will dedicate new resources to capture British Columbia’s Asia-Pacific opportunities.

The potential for mutual benefit is enormous.

THREE SHORT YEARS FROM TODAY,

BRITISH COLUMBIANS WILL BE LIVING

THEIR OLYMPIC DREAM

We will be one day past the opening ceremonies.

Canadians across this land will be glued to their televisions and computers as Canadian athletes reach higher, dig deeper, and go faster — striving to be the best in the world.

It has been said that, “In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level.... A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now.” This is our time.

This is British Columbia’s time to lead.

— 41 — Let us strive to inspire others with our commitment and determination.

Let us seize this moment of strength and optimism to embrace the Olympic spirit and capture the Pacific promise.

The torch of hope is in our hands.

Let us hold the torch high and act with speed and purpose, confident in our endeavour.

Let us test our limits and give our grandchildren the gift of a better province, a better country, and a better world.

— 42 —

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