I’m excited to share the three areas of focus for my term at Lieutenant Governor. As is tradition in British Columbia, when a new Lieutenant Governor is appointed to office, they outline key themes that serve as a guide for the development of programs and initiatives— for my themes, I wish to shine a light on contemporary social issues, help create positive change and improve the lives of British Columbians.
My first theme is Diversity and Inclusion— one of our province’s greatest strengths is the diversity of its people! We’re fortunate to live in a society that celebrates our differences, but still recognizes the things we have in common. I want to empower people from all walks of life to flourish, bring people together in conversation, and help overcome stigmas by sharing diverse perspectives.
This year I was honoured to deliver opening remarks at Women Deliver, the largest global conference on gender equality, and am looking forward to an upcoming project through the Office of the LG raising awareness of the 50th Anniversary of the Decriminalization of Homosexuality in Canada.
Those who have heard me speak at events have likely heard me express that one of BC’s greatest challenges is the fragility of democracy in the 21st century, which is why I’ve chosen to highlight Democracy and Civic Engagement. I want to promote participation in our democracy, whether that’s through bringing British Columbians together for respectful dialogue or encouraging those in leadership positions to do the same.
It was inspiring to host with the YWCA a youth panel on civic engagement during the Women Deliver conference. And one of my keystone initiatives is the creation of the LG Youth Advisory Council— if you’re between the ages of 17-24, I encourage you to apply!
Finally, I am deeply committed to Reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of BC. This includes honouring Indigenous traditions and heritage, promoting the vibrant and diverse cultures of First Nations communities and supporting an ongoing dialogue of reconciliation and respect.
This year I announced the expanded criteria for eligibility for the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal, recognizing post-secondary students with outstanding contributions in support of inclusion, democracy or reconciliation, on or off campus. I also currently have the privilege of learning SENĆOŦEN, one of the Indigenous languages of the Lekwungen people, and am doing my best to deliver welcome remarks in this language at events I host or attend.