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

Get ready for the 39th annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Up to 9,000 particpants are anticipated for this year’s three-day race weekend

Impaired driver crashes into Victoria police vehicle, injures officer

Cook Street collision occured in the early morning hours of Tuesday

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Plaque that replaced Macdonald statue at Victoria city hall vandalized

Less than 24 hours after plaque was installed, an ‘X’ had been scratched through the centre

Weekend collisions keep West Shore RCMP busy

Officers responded to three separate incidents within the span of one hour

Reader photos: Greater Victoria’s hazy skies

Lingering smoke from wildfires contributed to the province issuing a smoky skies bulletin

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read