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

Former Langford resident wins prestigious winemaker award

Cherie Spriggs first woman ever to win award

View Royal amends zoning bylaw for liveaboard vessels

The Town is taking a proactive approach to regulate waterway

Inside the music

Big Read: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Launch party for Vancouver Island’s new soccer team a success

More seating will be added to Westhills before the spring

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

BC Wildfire update on 14 major Okanagan blazes

Watch the media briefing on the current fire situation in the Okanagan.

UPDATED: Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters defy eviction order

Demonstrators at Camp Cloud in Burnaby say they won’t leave, but will meet with city officials

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

2017 wildfires give B.C. mom chance to say thank you to officer who saved her son

An unlikely encounter in the rural community of Likely, near Williams Lake

Cigarette packs with graphic images, blunt warnings are effective: focus groups

Warnings considered effective flag ailments smoking can cause, like colorectal and stomach cancers

Canada’s title hopes quashed at Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco

On the men’s side, Canada was eliminated in the round of 16 as they were shut out by Argentina 28-0

Astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig, plays duet from space

Alexander Gerst becomes an astronaut musician with live performance from International Space Station

Most Read