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BC throne speech looks to past, success of 2010 Olympics

Lieutenant Governor Steven Point today delivered a speech from the throne that reviewed the British Columbia government's record of the last decade but offered little vision for the future.

"We now gather together on the eve of transition to new leadership," Point said, after listing prominent British Columbians who had died in the past year and going through memories from last year's 2010 Olympic Winter Games. "Both the government and the opposition will select new leaders in the days ahead."

Premier Gordon Campbell, who said he wrote the throne speech, will be replaced when Liberal members pick a new leader on Feb. 26. He acknowledged to reporters that the speech looks backwards and encourages people to raise the level of public discussion.

The speech, a text of which was provided to reporters ahead of its delivery, mentioned many of the province's main projects of the past decade, including the new relationship with First Nations, the focus on public private partnerships, the expansion of renewable energy sources, the creation of seven new universities, the push to reduce taxes and the improvement of transportation.

It also mentioned the 100th anniversary of the BC Parks system that will be held this year. As part of that there will be "renewed interpretive programs." The Liberal government cut naturalist programs from the parks budget in 2001.

The Feb. 15 budget will keep health and education as spending priorities, but will include no major changes, it said. "Tomorrow's budget will meet statutory requirements while providing maximum flexibility for future decisions by the new executive council and this legislature," it said.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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