Thursday, October 20, 2022

Municipal Affairs Minister moves BC Pavillion Act forward in Legislature.

Municipal Affairs Minister Nathan Cullen moved the progress of Bill 31
forward on Wednesday at the Legislature

The British Columbia government moved forward on their plan to Dissolve the British Columbia Enterprise Corporation, a body which as Municipal Affairs Minister Nathan Cullen noted on Wednesday hasn't carried on business for over 30 year.

The Housekeeping work as the Minister noted would see the BCEC provisions moved to the BC Pavillion Corporation Act.

The bill reached second reading late in the Wednesday session, with Mr. Cullen introducing the Second reading just before 6 PM and the end of business for the day. 

The Stikine MLA and Municipal Affairs Minister offering up a thumbnail history of the key elements of the two pieces of legislation.

At the time, the B.C. Development Corporation, a Crown corporation, owned and operated two properties used as part of Expo 86: B.C. Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre. 

B.C. Place held the opening ceremonies of Expo 86, and the convention centre served as the Canada Pavilion. 

I note that the Speaker is nodding. It's glad for me that that some of our more youthful people in this chamber do remember — fondly, I hope — some of those events. 

It's always disturbing when we recount a bit of history and, yes, there are some, to my right, who in fact were maybe not alive when all this took place. 

But for those of us that were there, which may be a majority in this House — I'm seeing thumbs up — Expo 86 was incredibly important. 

These two pavilions both played an important role in that. 

Following Expo 86, the B.C. Development Corporation merged into the B.C. Enterprise Corporation. Then, between '86 and '89, the B.C. Enterprise Corporation owned and operated B.C. Place and the B.C. Convention Centre in Vancouver. 

Then, in 1989, the British Columbia Enterprise Corporation ceased operations and transferred all of its assets, rights, interests, obligations and liabilities to the B.C. Pavilion Corporation and to the province of British Columbia. 

The time has come to repeal this redundant piece of legislation, more than 30 years after that date, to reflect the fact that BCEC has no ongoing business operations since 1989. 

For this reason, Bill 31 seeks to repeal the British Columbia Enterprise Corporation Act while preserving the existing rights and responsibilities of the very much active B.C. Pavilion Corporation under a new act entitled the B.C. Pavilion Corporation Act.

Mr. Cullen made note of some of the concerns that had been relayed since the motion was introduced as well as to highlight the benefits of the new legislation that will improve on the elements of the Act.

"There were some concerns — I am talking to some MLAs, particularly from the Lower Mainland — that there would be any disturbance of activities over these two very important event centres within Vancouver. 

The way that we are making this legislation happen is that operations will continue as they are and liabilities and all of those things that pre-existed will continue as well.

By repealing the redundant act and establishing a new act for the B.C. Pavilion Corporation, the province will streamline our legislation, improving transparency to the public. We serve in eliminating administrative costs, which serve no benefit whatsoever to the public we represent. 

The proposed amendments in Bill 31 are supported by the B.C. Pavilion Corporation where the amendments impact them specifically. 

With that, Hon. Speaker, I want to thank you and all members of the House. I look forward to hearing from my colleagues in the continued debate, if there is much of one, on the second reading of this bill."

The Municipal Affairs Minister proved prescient on the theme of debate, with only BC Liberal Dan Ashton the MLA for Penticton providing comments prior to the end of the day's session.

You can review the process from Wednesday through the Hansard Archive here, starting at around the the 5:45 PM  point of the session.

The Discussion can be followed at the same timeline through the Legislature Video Archive page here.

The background to the Legislation can be reviewed here.

More notes from the Legislature can be explored through our Archive pages here.

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