Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA and newly-appointed Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare signs the parliamentary roll with Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon on Tuesday, July 18 in Victoria. Photo contributed

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA and newly-appointed Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare signs the parliamentary roll with Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon on Tuesday, July 18 in Victoria. Photo contributed

Lisa Beare named tourism minister

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA will also oversee arts and culture

  • Jul. 18, 2017 3:20 a.m.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare was named Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture on Tuesday, as John Horgan’s NDP cabinet was sworn in.

It was a welcome announcement for Beare, who said she’s excited to get started.

“It’s a great ministry and I’m really excited to take it on,” she said.

“Tourism is such an important economic opportunity, and we have lots of ideas on how to grow our arts and culture in the province, so I’m looking forward to tackling all that.”

Due to Horgan’s reshuffling of ministries, Beare is replacing two outgoing Liberal ministers: Shirley Bond, who was Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training; and Sam Sullivan, who oversaw arts and culture as Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

“Minister Beare has been a strong voice for her community and will be an active and engaging cabinet minister,” Horgan said in a statement.

“As Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, I know Minister Beare will work collaboratively to champion these industries throughout British Columbia.”

Read more: Who is Lisa Beare?

As the minister in charge of arts, Beare will be on the hook for her party’s pledge to double the government’s investment in the B.C. Arts Council over four years to $48 million annually.

She said the new government is still committed to that goal.

“I think it’s doable and we can achieve it,” she said. “We made that promise two years ago and nothing has changed in our commitment to that.”

Beare is one of 10 female ministers appointed by Horgan, resulting in B.C.’s first ever gender balanced cabinet.

This is Beare’s first term as an MLA. She was previously a school board trustee for School District 42 until she won the election in May.

She is currently on an unpaid leave of absence from the board, and has said she will step down officially next year to focus on her duties in Victoria full time.

With the appointment still fresh, Beare hasn’t had time to think of what to tackle first, but said she and her staff will be sitting down to decide on the ministry’s priorities in the coming days.

“We’re still getting our bearings a bit but we’re excited to get going,” she said.