One of British Columbia’s greatest challenges is the fragility of democracy in the 21st century.

Across the globe, politics have become increasingly polarized in recent years, while the tone of rhetoric from political leaders has become more combative and divisive.

Like many, Her Honour is concerned that this decline in civil discourse undermines our democratic conventions, erodes respect for our public institutions and discourages people from becoming engaged in the democratic process. As Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Her Honour feels she has an important role to play in promoting civic engagement and constructive participation in our democracy.

Given the non-partisan nature of her role, Her Honour feels compelled to leverage her position to encourage the cross-fertilization of opinions and bring together British Columbians with differing perspectives who share the desire to make their communities a better place to live.

Her Honour also pledges to encourage elected officials, employers, community organizers, and others in leadership positions to do their part to reach out beyond the boundaries that divide people in our society. And she will urge institutions (including community groups, business organizations, non-profits, and post-secondary institutions) to host events and conversations that provide a neutral ground for the exchange of ideas.

Her Honour believes we must all take responsibility to engage with people from different walks of life and that we should approach those interactions as an opportunity to listen, learn, and understand the views of our neighbours, which are often rooted in personal experience.

She also believes that encouraging civic engagement in the next generation is a crucial step, which is why one of her keystone initiatives will be the creation of a Youth Advisory Council to support this work.