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

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

New changes are being proposed to four streets in James Bay to allow better access for cyclists. Residents have until June 11 to provide feedback. (Black Press Media file photo)
New revisions to James Bay bike lanes open for feedback

Routes on Government and Montreal streets planned for 2022

An elderly man having a medical emergency in Mount Douglas Park on May 13 was rescued by firefighters and paramedics with the help of ATVs. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Rescue team uses ATVs get man in medical distress out of Saanich park and to hospital

Cedarhill Road closed as firefighters, paramedics rescue man in Mount Douglas Park

While recovering several items reported stolen from the set of a Netflix movie in early April, West Shore RCMP also seized drugs and drug trafficking items from a Colwood residence last week. (Black Press Media file photo)
Electronics, credit cards taken from Neflix set found in Colwood home

West Shore RCMP seize stolen items, drugs, trafficking materials

Saanich police used a drone to investigate a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal West Saanich Road crash

Driver who died veered across center line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Most Read