Each Lieutenant Governor develops unique projects and initiatives that highlight his or her interests and background. Often provincial in scope, they bring awareness to issues affecting British Columbians. The Honourable Janet Austin plans to focus her programs on the following priorities:
1. Democracy and Public Institutions: Her Honour is increasingly concerned about the erosion of respect for democracy and the institutions that support it and of the decline of civility in public discourse. Read more about her unique platform.
2. Inclusion, Diversity, Pluralism, Gender Equality and Social Justice: Lt.-Gov. Austin is building on her extensive previous professional and volunteer work with groups, including the YWCA, Big Sisters, the Moosehide Campaign, Dr. Peter Aids Foundation, the United Way, The Chinatown Foundation & Storytelling Centre, Pacific Autism Family Centre.
3. Reconciliation: Inspired by the work of previous Lieutenant Governors, Her Honour seeks to promote respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples. This includes recognizing Indigenous communities working hard to provide economic opportunities for their people, ensure the survival of their languages and culture, and be good stewards of the environment.
British Columbia Reconciliation Award: To recognize individuals, groups and organizations who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, integrity, respect and commitment to furthering reconciliation or inspired others to continue reconciliation efforts, the Lieutenant Governor, in partnership with the BC Achievement Foundation, has launched the British Columbia Reconciliation Award. Her Honour Janet Austin is grateful for the leadership of the Honourable Steven Point, former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who is the founder of this award.
Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation: In 2019, in partnership with the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, eligibility for the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal was expanded to recognize post-secondary students with outstanding contributions in support of inclusion, democracy or reconciliation, on or off campus, and now includes students in diploma and degree programs. Read more about the medal.
4. Stewards of the Future: Lt.-Gov. Austin continues this program launched in 2014. Stewards of the Future promotes a holistic approach to living based on respect for the land, positive relationships among people, and a shared responsibility for the success of future generations. The program encourages and supports secondary school-aged youth to explore the outdoors, to discover and document unique attributes, identify and research issues of concern, and to investigate stewardship initiatives. Learn more about Stewards of the Future.
Once established, some programs continue to evolve from one Lieutenant Governor to the next, supported by partners in the community. These include:
Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines
Established in 2003 by the Honourable Iona Campagnolo, the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines achieved its goal of bringing attention to the province’s wine industry. This thriving program grew steadily to evolve into a province-wide event celebrating outstanding wines. It is now organized and administered by the Okanagan Wine Festival Society. Learn more about the festival and wine awards.
Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence
Established in 2003 by the Foundation, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence continues to inspire writers around our province and contributes to the development of literary excellence through a partnership with the B.C. Community Achievement Foundation. Learn more about this book prize.