Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 3 of the 4th Session (42nd Parliament)

Feb 26, 2023 | 42-4, Blog, Governance, MLA Updates

ÍY SȻÁĆEL (Good Day),

Welcome to my weekly update for week three of the 2023 Spring legislative sitting for February 21-24, 2023.

It is hard to believe that following my criticisms of the second week of the Spring legislative session that I would be given reason to once again note the bewildering legislative agenda of the BC NDP. The third week was worse! But it was not all bad news.

It was a unique three day week in the legislature. It is normal practice that on weeks with statutory holidays MLAs stay in their constituency. Last week however the government called us back (at tremendous cost) to discuss Bill 5, Bill 7, and Bill 8. Bill 5 is not really available to debate because the province is negotiating with the lawyers the BC NDP offended with the contents of the proposal. So, just two bills, a grand total of 17 clauses.

Astonishingly, they produced no new legislation and on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Government House Leader dragged out the debate on the remarkably thin legislative agenda, getting his Members to filibuster their own bills stretching time until the budget is presented next week. On Thursday afternoon we debated Motion 18. It gives direction to a Special Committee to review Private Members’ time. Members who are not in Cabinet are Private Members.

View entire overview of my legislative work in this blog post.

You can see my two questions in Question Period to Hon. Brenda Bailey, Economic Development Minister below. In addition to speaking to Motion 18, I provided responses to two Ministerial Statements, one on the one year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine and the other on the important work of Caretaker Communities. I also responded to the final speech of Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant and a two minute Statement on Fisheries for Communities.

Community Meetings

In the upcoming Spring break I will be hosting a series of community meetings in communities across the riding. You can learn more about where the meeting closest to you is being held at https://www.saanichnorthandtheislands.com/events

I look forward to discussing the provincial issues and concerns that are important to you.

If you find this newsletter informative, please share it with your friends and neighbours and invite them to sign up to receive my updates.

If you need advocacy from our office, have any questions or concerns, please provide your feedback at Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca or 250-655-5600.


Adam Olsen, MLA
Saanich North and the Islands


February 23, 2023

I followed my question on Tuesday, with another on the topic of re-capitalizing the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICE-T).

In her response to my initial question, Minister of Economic Development, Hon. Brenda Bailey pointed to the $33 million REDIP (Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program) as an example of how the provincial government is supporting rural communities. The REDIP is not a suitable alternative to ICE-T.

I note the exciting economic potential of a re-capitalized Trust with a minimum of $150 million in a permanent fund will supply rural communities on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast with between $7-12 million annually and generate a billion dollars of economic activity over the next 25 years.

There is simply no comparison. So while Minister Bailey takes exception to the way I framed the question, by highlighting REDIP in her response she introduced it for comparison, likely to deflect that the BC NDP has not provided a long-term solution. As a result, the ICE-T faces dissolution, leaving Island and Coastal communities without a viable economic engine when they need it the most.

Learn more about the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Transcript – (10:45am)
YouTube (Hansard video)
Blog Post

February 21, 2023

The Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICE-T) has been an important economic initiative supporting communities on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast since it was formed in 2006.

Originally capitalized with $50 million dollars (+ $10 million added in 2017) the trust was created as a “spend-down” model. This means that as projects were funded the trust diminished and unless it is recapitalized the ICE-T will be wound down and the communities within the region will be without the important tool.

The $56 million invested so far has been leveraged to generate $250 million in economic benefits. With the funds running out, the board of directors and executive team at ICE-T provided the BC NDP government a plan to re-capitalize the trust in September 2022.

The clock is ticking and the question remains, will this government take the support in these communities for granted?

Learn more about the Island Coastal Economic Trust

Transcript – (10:35am)
YouTube (Hansard video)
Blog Post


February 23, 2023

In 2008, the Wild Salmon Advisory Council released a report about the future of Pacific salmon in British Columbia.

In many respects it was redux of salmon strategies of the past. We updated the information and re-engaged the stakeholders and what we learned is that most of profit in fisheries in British Columbia goes to corporations not to the fishers and their communities.

In my two-minute statement I addressed this issue and the Fisheries for Communities initiative.

Transcript – (10:25am)
YouTube (Hansard video)
Blog Post


February 22, 2023

When Melanie Mark was sworn in to the British Columbia Legislative Assembly following her by-election victory in February 2016 her family brought her into the assembly in a good way.

Melanie was the first First Nations woman elected as a MLA and the first First Nations woman appointed to Cabinet.

Today she announced that she will be stepping down as an MLA and I provided the following comments regarding her announcement.

It is a sad day in the BC Legislature, to use a metaphor Melanie used often, we have one less paddler in our canoe.

Transcript – (2:05pm)
YouTube (Hansard video)
Blog Post


February 23, 2023

As I have said repeatedly the BC Legislative Assembly does not function as democratically as it could.

The entire agenda is controlled by the party with a majority of Members and that power has been used to shut out private members’ from having the legislation they propose, debated and voted on.

Significant reforms are needed to improve the function of our democratic institution. This is a project the BC Green Caucus has been working on for months, specifically reforming Private Members’ Bills.

The BC NDP House Leader, Hon. Ravi Kahlon, moved a motion to create a committee to review this important work. I am thrilled that the process is finally underway!

Transcript – (2:05pm)
YouTube (Hansard video)
Blog Post


February 23, 2023

I stood as Third Party House Leader to speak in response to a Ministerial Statement provided by Hon. Anne Kang, Municipal Affairs Minister on the one year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.

Transcript – (11:15am)
YouTube (Hansard video)
Blog Post

February 22, 2023

With the announcement of more findings of likely burial sites at the Alberni Indian Residential School, and the similar announcement in January at the St. Joseph’s Residential School in Williams Lake, the Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Hon. Murray Rankin, offered a Ministerial Statement about the role and responsibility of caretaker communities.

I offered a response on behalf of the Third Party.

My comments focus on the incredible burden that is carried by the leaders, our relatives, in the communities where there was a residential institution and Indian hospital.

I raise my hands to the powerful leadership they have shown in ensuring that our children are taken care of in a good way, and the challenge our leaders face in navigating the many cultures of the children who were forced to attend these institutions.

Transcript – (2:45pm)
YouTube (Hansard video)
Blog Post


No bills to speak to this week.


2023 Budget Estimates will begin in early March.


The next round of community meetings will be hosted from March 10-18, 2023.

Join MLA Adam Olsen to discuss topics relating to the provincial government. Community meetings are open to the public and completely non-partisan.

On Mayne, Galiano, Pender and Saturna Islands, CRD Director Paul Brent, and on Salt Spring Island, CRD Director Gary Holman, will join MLA Olsen to highlight, update, and answer questions on the work they do together to represent and support the Gulf Island communities.

Please share these events with you friends and neighbours!
Learn more about upcoming events at https://www.saanichnorthandtheislands.com


CBC Political Panel Listen in every Monday morning, 7:30 I’m on the CBC Political Panel on The Early Edition with Stephen Quinn | Live Radio | CBC Listen

‘He’s no John Horgan’: BC Liberals, Greens accuse premier of mismanagement and filibustering– MLA Olsen, My Prince George Now

Les Leyne: Eby’s 100 days of action grinds to a halt at legislature – MLA Olsen, Glacier outlets

B.C. Liberals, Greens accuse Eby government of wasting time in the Legislature | Globalnews.ca – MLA Olsen, CKNW

Heckling, short tempers, filibustering: B.C.’s legislature stalls amid ‘wobbly’ governance – MLA Olsen, BC CTV News

B.C. Liberals, Greens slam government for ‘mismanaging’ legislative session – MLA Olsen, Vancouver Sun/the Province

B.C.’s first Indigenous cabinet minister steps down – MLA Olsen, Glacier Media outlets

Former B.C. NDP cabinet minister Melanie Mark to resign Vancouver seat, cites health – MLA Olsen, Post Media outlets

What does Melanie Mark’s departure mean for Indigenous women in B.C. politics? – MLA Olsen, Vancouver Sun/Province/Prince George Post

Les Leyne: Fund has done a lot of good on Island; province is mum on its future – MLA Olsen, Glacier outlets

Island officials push province to renew $55 million community development fund – MLA Olsen, Black Press


Contact my Community Office. We are here to advocate on behalf of residents of Saanich North and the Islands.

If you need advocacy or you have a question, concern, suggestion or idea, please do not hesitate to contact me at Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca or 250-655-5600.

Find us at:
9828 Fourth St.
Sidney, BC
V8L 2Z3

Our new office hours:

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