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

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

Kiyoshi Kosky running for Courtenay City Council

I am Kiyoshi Kosky and am running in the upcoming Courtenay Municipal… Continue reading

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read