Friday, January 27, 2017

NDP's John Horgan adds northern economic development to MLA Jennifer Rice's Shadow cabinet responsibilities

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice had
some extra duties assigned to her critics
role today by NDP leader John Horgan
The BC NDP made a few changes to their shadow cabinet line up today, adding some new responsibilities for five MLA's as the party prepares for the upcoming legislative session and the upcoming provincial election campaign.

And with the shift in responsibilities, will come some extra work for North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who was one of the five that NDP leader John Horgan tapped for a higher profile.

As part of an announcement made just before the noon hour today, Ms. Rice was handed the responsibility of delivering the NDP's message when it comes to economic development in northern British Columbia.

The North Coast MLA was named to the critics position for northern and rural economic development.  Ms. Rice will also be  holding on to her duties as the NDP critic for issues related to health services in northern B.C.

In his comments while introducing Ms. Rice to her new post, Mr. Horgan noted the task ahead for the MLA as she prepares to address the economic concerns of the region.

"I'm very excited to have someone from the North Coast looking at these important issues, to talk about the real jobs; not fake jobs, not the made up jobs that Christy Clark has been talking about for the last five years."

The decision to add economic elements to her shadow cabinet responsibilities comes as those themes begin to form some of the narrative to the upcoming provincial election campaign on the North Coast.

Both Liberal leader Christy Clark and North Coast Liberal candidate Herb Pond, have made North Coast jobs and economic development as their main focus in recent comments  both prior to and following Mr. Pond's nomination last week.

With her expanded duties as an opposition critic, Ms. Rice will be expected to outline what her approach to job creation across the region might be. A theme that hasn't always been delivered in very much detail for residents across the sprawling North Coast riding.

Over the course of the next three months the NDP MLA will be staking out her own territory on a range of economic issues and providing the voters with her blue print for future development, offering up the NDP alternative to how the Liberals see the future for the Northwest.

How both she and the NDP leader handle such issues as LNG development, forestry, the fishery and small business concerns during the course of the upcoming campaign will be key to the re-election hopes for the incumbent MLA.

Today's announcement was streamed live through the Social Media streaming service of Periscope, which you can view here.

More items related to provincial politics can be found on our Legislature archive page, while election campaign notes heading towards the May vote can be reviewed here.

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