Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen. (Contributed)

MLA COLUMN: Innovation and the Emerging Economy

Our world is rapidly changing. We are rethinking everything, from how resources are extracted and refined to how they are sold and purchased. As a result, where we live, move, work and play is in transition.

As we move forward we will either protect the status quo or embrace the opportunity of this emerging reality. The health and well-being of our communities and the life-supporting ecosystems we depend on, today and for generations to come, are deeply affected by our choices.

In my brief time as the MLA of Saanich North and the Islands, I have seen first-hand the impact of our government’s desire to protect the status quo. This approach is squandering the generational opportunity we have to be visionary, to create a forward-looking, agile, flexible government, choosing to engage and embrace the disruption, rather than fear it.

Two economic disruptions that are examples of sectors needing regulatory change are ride-hailing and short-term vacation rentals. Government has been rigid, inflexible and slow-moving. With ride-hailing, the government has stubbornly not amended legislation to allow fair entry to the market. As for short-term vacation rentals, legislation has not been amended to regulate it. Both approaches have had dramatic and far-reaching effects on our economy and on our communities.

Modern governments must balance the interests of the status quo with the change-makers. Public policy must protect the public interest and allow fair entry for newcomers, while supporting existing businesses, so they also adapt and succeed.

I am excited about the future of Saanich North and the Islands. We have a lot of positive forces going in the right direction. To leverage the transition to our advantage, I will lean on my provincial colleagues, and work with local and First Nations governments, local business, and the broader community to embrace the opportunity in front of us.

The housing, transportation and labour-force challenges are obstacles to be overcome through coordination, cooperation, and a commitment to address affordability, grid-lock, and automation proactively and with creativity.

At a local level this work has already begun in our constituency office. We are hosting monthly Community

Dialogues to discuss the challenges and to focus on ideas. Our first dialogue was on housing and it was a great start. We continue the conversation on December 6, 2017 where we will dive deeper into “Innovation and the Emerging Economy.”

I hope you will join us to discuss our world in transition. For details about our Community Dialogues, visit www.adamolsen.ca.

Adam Olsen, MLA

Saanich North and the Islands

Just Posted

Victoria Curling Club, arena parking lot considered for new Crystal Pool location

Considering other vendors could cost Victoria first year of provincial and federal funding

City of Victoria to see 588 affordable housing units

Provincial funding is aiming to see 4,900 new mixed-income rental properties across B.C.

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh visits with Langford high school students

Students asked him questions about current political issues

New report finds B.C. victims of opioids crisis on lower of end of socio-economic spectrum

UVic scholar calls for decriminalization of drugs responsible for opioid crisis

‘Spread love’: UVic Pride replaces white supremacy posters in Victoria

Around 50 people walked through downtown on Nov. 12 to share posters of love

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Racist slur cleaned off memorial at Qualicum First Nation graveyard

Site was hit by vandals on Friday; many immediately offered support and assistance

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Most Read