Brenda Bailey has been named innovation minister in British Columbia’s latest cabinet shuffle.
Premier David Eby unveiled a new cabinet of 23 ministers and four ministers of state on Wednesday, appointing Bailey as the province’s new minister of jobs, economic development, and innovation.
Bailey is taking over BC’s innovation agenda from Ravi Kahlon, a fellow member of the New Democratic Party who was reassigned to lead the newly created Ministry of Housing. The Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, to be led by Bowinn Ma, was also established as part of the announcement.
Bailey was elected as a member of the legislative assembly for Vancouver-False Creek in 2020. In that same year, she was also appointed as parliamentary secretary for technology and innovation.
Before she began her career in politics, Bailey had strong ties to BC’s tech ecosystem, co-founding a video game studio named Silicon Sisters Interactive in 2011. She has also served as executive director of DigiBC, the Interactive and Digital Media Industry Association of British Columbia.
Kahlon was elected into the provincial parliament in 2017 and was appointed as minister of jobs, economic recovery, and innovation in 2020, at the peak of the pandemic. During his time as innovation minister, Kahlon led several initiatives that aim to bolster BC’s innovation economy.
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Under Kahlon’s guidance, the provincial government launched the B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy, meant to allow for collaboration between industry, academic, and government partners to help with the commercialization and scale-up of BC-based clean-energy technologies.
Last year, Kahlon also helped to introduce InBC Investment Corp, the province’s new $500 million CAD strategic investment fund, as part of the 2021 provincial budget.
According to Premier Eby, the new cabinet members are tasked with helping British Columbians with the cost of living, strengthening the health-care system, tackling the housing crisis, making communities safer, advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, fighting the impacts of climate change, and building a sustainable, clean-energy economy.
Featured image courtesy Brenda Bailey.