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

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ in Courtenay to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Cam Levins sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

Most Read