Learning curve continuing for Comox Valley MLA in provincial cabinet

Comox Valley MLA Don McRae's new cabinet portfolio is about to take a new direction.

Comox Valley MLA Don McRae’s new cabinet portfolio is about to take a new direction.

McRae was sworn in Monday as Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation after Premier Christy Clark shuffled the cabinet Friday.

While social development has been the cornerstone of the ministry for some time, the social innovation piece signifies a new direction in terms of developing roles, he indicated in an interview.

“It’s something that they’ve asked us to try to encourage and grow in the province,” said McRae, who formerly served as education minister and agriculture minister.

Along with his new post, McRae will serve on the influential Priorities and Planning Committee chaired by Clark, and the Cabinet Committee on Secure Tomorrow.

“The learning curve in my political career has been outstanding. I can’t say I’ve ever been bored.”

He notes a “whole buffet of government issues and priorities” in the past four years, starting with his first ministry in agriculture and then switching to education.

“I’ve been very lucky, I think, as a relatively new MLA to have this sort of opportunity,” said McRae, who defended his Comox Valley seat in the recent provincial election.

McRae was a high school teacher before becoming a member of Courtenay council in 2002. He captured the B.C. Liberal nomination for the Comox Valley in 2009 following the untimely death of Stan Hagen, and was elected MLA in the May provincial election

Under his new portfolio, McRae will:

• Ensure that significant reforms at Community Living British Columbia are fully implemented and benefiting families.

• Continue efforts to assist people with disabilities earn an income.

• Deliver on government’s commitment “to make B.C. Canada’s most progressive province for people and families living with disabilities,” Clark said in a statement.

The SDSI ministry budget is about $2.5 billion. It involves several thousand employees.

“It’s a very large ministry and it’s pretty much in most reasonably sized communities across British Columbia,” McRae said. “People who live in small towns can access online or by phone.”

When he worked as a teacher, McRae encountered many people with some level of disability. He notes society’s desire to accommodate individuals with physical and mental challenges into the workforce.

“Some of them have just absolutely amazing employment skills, and it’s the right thing to do,” McRae said. “It’s something that I think we need as a government to begin to work with the community.”

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Brent Flahr new Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay resident reunited with Chuck Fletcher in Philadelphia

Comox Valley Food Bank – 35 years of feeding the Valley

The Comox Valley Food Bank turns 35 years old on Dec. 19,… Continue reading

Kingfisher Resort unveils newly renovated Ocean Courtyard Wing

The $2 million renovation was completed at the end of November

New Cumberland fire engine long overdue, says fire chief

The prospect of a new fire hall delayed the order as existing engine bays were too small

BC Hydro increasing flow in Puntledge River

BC Hydro is warning the public to stay away from the Puntledge… Continue reading

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale

Man charged after B.C house fire triggers high-grade explosives

Thomas Daniel Kendall charged with causing bodily harm by failing to properly store explosives

Stop ‘renovictions,’ B.C. housing task force says

MLAs call for end to strata bans on renting vacant suites

Girl, 6, lured from elementary school, sexually assaulted: Vancouver police

Police are seeking dashcam footage from nearby Sexsmith Elementary School in South Vancouver

Most Read