Exciting innovation in the Salish Sea

I am thrilled to read that Premier Christy Clark and Gov. Jay Inslee are working to create greater connectivity between British Columbia and Washington to develop the "Cascadia innovation corridor."

This is important work but it must be more than just photo ops and pre-election hype. Andrew Weaver and the BC Greens have been strongly encouraging investments in tech industries as a positive direction for the British Columbia economy. 

Premier Christy Clark has been more focused on turning the south coast into a fossil fuel superhighway, than a forward-focused 21st-century economy.

Nurturing tech will require investments in public education and post-secondary and suggested in this article, we will have to find ways to encourage investors and address the high cost of living.

Tourism is another industry that would benefit from working with more closely with Washington. The Salish Sea is a phenomenal natural attraction with the Southern Gulf Islands and the San Juan Islands.

Tourism and tech compliment each other much more than gas liquefaction/oil tankers and tourism. The infrastructure needed to support tourism benefits locals and increases the quality of life.

With an increasingly de-stabilized world, our region can offer tourists a safe place to visit surrounded by a pristine environment and well-developed tourism infrastructure. 

We can take advantage of our incredible natural environment, protect the sensitive ecosystems that sustain us and develop cultural tourism opportunities with the W̱SÁNEĆ. We will attract people from around the world to our beautiful home to share our beautiful history and our beautiful culture.

This is not about abandoning the resource driven communities in British Columbia. It is about developing technology to harvest our natural resources more sustainably and a commitment to investing in value-added industries to make better use of those resources rather than the strip it and ship it mentality of the BC Liberals.

Unfortunately, the BC government has been so committed to the political contributions pouring from their buddies in the extractive industries that they have sacrificed so many opportunities elsewhere. It is time to create a diverse and sustainable, 21st-century economy.

I am happy that Premier Clark is developing these relationships. Let's take it the next step. Let's commit to protecting our environment so visitors the world over can harvest our natural resources in the most renewable way possible, with their camera. There has to be an app for that... and if not perhaps our tech community will develop it!

Adam Olsen

Stellys Cross Road, Brentwood Bay, BC, V8M 1J7