MLA Report: Our society must make smart collective decisions

Change is part of life, but government must help manage changes, writes Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald

Change is a part of life and always has been. However, we currently live in a time of great change; change that is technological, economic, social and environmental.

In order to thrive, we must be personally adaptable. But we also must build a society that is able to make smart collective decisions, particularly as we negotiate the challenges that are brought upon us by climate change.

The provincial government has responsibilities that touch our lives directly and it is vitally important that we have provincial leadership that can manage in an adaptive way. This means developing a culture within the provincial government of continuous learning. It means looking to other jurisdictions, businesses, universities and the non-profit sector to find best practices and technologies.

Government must re-commit to authentic evaluation of strategic directions and invest in adequate monitoring of our progress. As individuals, we can make good decisions for ourselves, but without a similar mindset at the government level, we will not be successful.

The provincial government must also embrace its responsibility to ensure that everyone is supported in managing the changes that are required. This is the very important concept of ‘just transition’; that no one area or group should carry an unfair burden of change.

The province must also apply the precautionary principle to all its decision making.

If the consequences of an action are not understood in a meaningful way then we must be cautious in our approach. Too often, the hubris that is found in political leaders results in decisions that have long-term and dire consequences. An excellent example of this is the rush towards independent power projects on BC’s rivers which are now causing massive increases in BC Hydro rates.

As we enter this new year, we will be looking towards the future and making choices about what we want our lives to look like. We will also be asked to make a decision about what we want our next provincial government to look like.

We need to choose leaders who will make the right decisions and will put the best interests of all British Columbians first.

Norm Macdonald is the MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke. He can be reached at 1-866-870-4188 and norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca.

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