John Yap is back in cabinet, Rob Howard named parliamentary secretary
Two Richmond MLAs now have bigger roles in government.
Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap was appointed minister of state for multiculturalism by Premier Christy Clark on Saturday.
“I’m truly humbled and honoured to be the minister of state for multiculturalism,” Yap told The Richmond Review Monday.
Yap replaces Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Harry Bloy, who resigned March 16 after he admitted to leaking an e-mail from a Province reporter to Eminata Group, which runs for-profit post-secondary schools and was the subject of the e-mail.
Yap said the transition to his new role will be eased by the fact that for the last year he’s been chair of the Immigration Task Force, a committee examining the current system of economic immigration to Canada.
“I’m delighted at this change.”
Considering B.C.’s and Richmond’s strong economic ties to Asia, Yap said friendships and partnerships with that part of the globe will be “so vital for British Columbia, and certainly our community.”
Yap said the recovery of the world’s economy is “very tentative and could be fragile,” but expressed some optimism, pointing to the U.S. which has evidenced signs of a true recovery.
“But we’ve got a long way to go,” Yap said, adding that there’s still uncertainty in Europe, with countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy and France experiencing tough times and high public debts.
He said the path chosen by the Liberal government, under Clark, with a focus on getting value for public services and keeping taxes competitive, is the right one.
B.C. is well positioned to benefit from its links with Asia, which Yap thinks will continue to provide strength as the world continues to recover.
B.C. must draw strength from its immigrant communities, which have forged links with Asia, he said.
In speaking to residents all across the province, Yap said there’s strong support for improvements to the immigration processes, and more economic immigration.
And for immigrants who first settle in B.C., ensuring there are systems and programs in place to help them integrate and contribute to their communities is vital, he said he’s been told.
He replaces Burnaby-Lougheed MLA Harry Bloy, who resigned March 16 after he admitted to leaking an e-mail from a Province reporter to Eminata Group, which runs for-profit post-secondary schools and was the subject of the e-mail.
First elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2009, Yap was appointed minister of state for climate action by then-premier Gordon Campbell in 2009. He was shuffled from cabinet once Clark became premier in 2011 and was named parliamentary secretary for clean technology.
Yap is also the chair of the Immigration Task Force, a committee examining the current system of economic immigration to Canada.
Richmond Centre MLA Rob Howard was named parliamentary secretary to the minister of transportation with a specific focus on air services agreements. Howard, a former Richmond city councillor who is in his first term as MLA, currently chairs the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services and is the provincial lead for the Air Access Initiative to encourage open skies.
Clark also appointed Vancouver-Langara MLA Dr. Moira Stilwell as parliamentary secretary to the minister of health with a specific focus on health care innovation. Stilwell served as minister of advanced education and labour market development and minister of regional economic and skills development under Campbell.