Premier Gordon Campbell visits journalism school

October 26, 2008

BC Premier Gordon Campbell said journalists have “the second most interesting” job next to public life during a visit to the School of Journalism on Friday 24 October.

Campbell spoke to students about the challenges facing British Columbia “as the world reshapes what its global economy looks like.” As Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway, Campbell said that British Columbia is especially affected by changes in “this new economic world.” Changing times, Campbell argued, require “deep journalism” that can “bring a depth of coverage and understanding and build public literacy.”

In his 25 minute speech, Campbell elaborated on his 10 point economic plan released Oct 22, defending the measures as part of B.C.’s leadership role during this economic crisis. While Campbell noted British Columbia “is going to have very little impact on the global economy,” he said the question remains, “What can we do here?”

Campbell touched on a variety of other topics, including Vancouver’s affordable housing shortage. One of the simplest ways to address affordable housing, Campbell said, would be to remove regulations restricting lot sizes. A change from 40 feet lot subdivisions to 33 foot lots, “would probably drive down the average housing cost in Vancouver by about $200,000 alone.”

In a question and answer session, Campbell fielded questions about homelessness, forestry, and the Vancouver civic election. Asked what advice he would give to the prospective mayors, Campbell said that mayoral candidates need to demonstrate their long-term vision for Vancouver. Campbell asked, “What is Peter Ladner’s picture for Vancouver?” or “What does Gregor Robertson’s picture feel like?”

During the question period, Campbell also ruled out the possibility of a leadership run for the federal Liberal party, saying B.C. “is where I’m interested,” not international affairs or national defense.

This post is the raw copy of an article written for the School of Journalism website.


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