June 23, 2021 - Education and Childcare in BC - An Economic Imperative - with Minister Whiteside and Minister Chen
The pandemic has highlighted something we've long known at the Surrey Board of Trade. Education and childcare is an economic issue. Affordability and accessibility to quality childcare are necessary for employees to be able to perform at peak productivity, confident in the knowledge that their children are cared for in a safe, learning environment. The return on investment in childcare results in a richer economic environment for businesses, families and communities in Canada.
On June 23, we hear from the Honourable Jennifer Whiteside, BC Minister of Education and the Honourable Katrina Chen, BC Minister of State for Childcare. They will discuss the BC education and childcare systems as vital economic infrastructure.
This session is your opportunity to ask the Ministers your questions.
Jennifer Whiteside was elected MLA for New Westminster in 2020. Jennifer is the Minister of Education.
As the chief spokesperson and lead negotiator for the Hospital Employees' Union, she has fought for better public healthcare and the rights of healthcare workers and has dedicated her career to advocating for working people. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked tirelessly to protect seniors and workers in nursing homes across the province. While leading B.C.'s first campaign for a living wage, she fought to ensure that work lifts people out of poverty and allows them to support their families and fully participate in their communities.
Jennifer has worked for community organizations and labour unions at the provincial and national levels. Those roles have championed a wide range of social justice issues, from accessible post-secondary education and affordable public childcare to Medicare and health equity.
Jennifer was born and raised in New Westminster, holds a degree in History from Simon Fraser University, and is passionate about making life better for people in her city and across B.C.
Katrina Chen was elected as the MLA for Burnaby-Lougheed in May 2017. In July 2017, she was appointed as the Minister of State for Child Care
Before she was elected an MLA, Katrina served as a trustee on the Burnaby Board of Education and worked in provincial and federal constituency offices for over ten years. She has a bachelor of arts from Simon Fraser University with a major in political science, a minor in history, and a certificate in immigration laws, policies, and procedures from the University of British Columbia.
Katrina has worked as a community organizer with ACORN, emceed for major cultural festivals, and has volunteered as an executive member for several local non-profit organizations. Katrina was born and raised in Taiwan and moved to British Columbia many years ago.
As the mother of a young son, Katrina understands quality, affordable child care gives children a strong foundation for the future and keeps the province?s economy and communities moving by giving parents the option to return to work, go back to school or pursue other opportunities.
Katrina is working hard to make inclusive universal child care a reality in British Columbia with the comprehensive Childcare BC plan.