Ford
Credit: Doug Ford on Twitter

The latest in what’s happening in the B.C. business community and beyond

Each week, BCBusiness gives you an update on some of the stories turning heads across the province.

Coming at you with the momentum of an onrushing Doug Ford, here’s what had us occupied this week.

Ontario does the Dougie

Ontario elected a Conservative majority government with Doug Ford at the helm, his party easily toppling the incumbent Liberals and Kathleen Wynne, as well as the NDP under Andrea Horwath.

The true implications for B.C. won’t be known for some time (and hey, maybe there aren’t any), but it’s easy to see this as part of a trend that’s spreading across Canada.

Many expect United Conservative leader Jason Kenney to be Alberta’s next premier when that province calls its next election, which needs to be on or before May 31, 2019.

If and when that happens, B.C.’s John Horgan will likely be the only NDP premier in office. There will also be no female premiers. One wonders if that loss of diversity in many of the country’s highest offices will be troublesome.

It also might mean a Conservative takeover at the federal level when Canadians go to the polls next year to elect a new government.

Cannabis
Credit: Senate of Canada on Twitter

Thanks to joint parliamentary effort, cannabis legalization clears key hurdle

Federal legislation to make recreational marijuana legit won’t take effect for at least 12 weeks, but Ottawa took an important step in its plans.

The Senate (yes, that’s still a thing that exists) passed the House of Commons bill, albeit with dozens of amendments. The bill now goes back to the House, where the Liberals, who hold a majority, are determined to see the legislation through.

So while you might not be able to legally smoke recreational weed on Canada Day, the government might make its promised deadline of this summer, if just barely.

Coloma
Credit: Coloma Guitars on Twitter

Fellowship of the strings

The Vancouver International Guitar Festival, co-founded by 30 Under 30 winner Meredith Coloma, is launching the Association of Stringed Instrument Builders of British Columbia (ASIB-BC) on August 10.

The group’s kick-off will precede the festival, which takes place August 11 and 12 at Creekside Community Recreation Centre.

“The industry has experienced enormous growth in the last decades, but we’re all still working in relative isolation,” Coloma said in a statement. “We lack a unified voice to promote ourselves, set standards, provide educational opportunities for new talent and to advocate for public policy on issues that affect our industry, including trade barriers on protected woods.”

Getting into the spirit of things

beerFinally, Off The Rail Brewing Co.’s newest product honours a Canadian folk-rock legend.

The Vancouver brewer’s Spirit Lifter pilsner will hit stores on June 15, with proceeds going to Spirit of the West frontman John Mann’s battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

In 2015, a year after being diagnosed with the disease, Mann and his Vancouver band performed a farewell concert during a three-night run at the Commodore Ballroom.

Sales of the beer run until September 1.