Saturday, October 7, 2017

On behalf of the Province, thank you B.C. agriculture for coming to dinner. Happy Thanksgiving!


For Immediate Release
2017AGRI0053-001696
Oct. 6, 2017

Ministry of Agriculture
#BuyBC this Thanksgiving weekend
VICTORIA - Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham has issued the following statement in recognition of B.C.'s agriculture producers and the upcoming Thanksgiving long weekend:
"As the fall season advances, the leaves are changing colour, the days are getting shorter, and there is a crispness in the air. It is time to get inside, gather around a table with family and friends, and enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.
"This Thanksgiving, I invite British Columbians to #BuyBC agriculture products when planning their holiday meal and enjoy the province's fall bounty.
"More than 17,500 B.C. farms produce more than 200 agriculture products. Each one of these family farms has a story and they deserve our support. They are your neighbours and a big part of your community. We know that for every dollar in farm receipts, two dollars are spent in local municipalities.
"We have it all in British Columbia. Fresh local fruits and veggies, including potatoes, corn, carrots, beans, squash, lettuce, cabbage, cranberries and brussels sprouts. Your main course could include B.C. turkey, salmon, chicken, ham or beef. The choices are endless.
"Appetizers? How about trying something from our B.C. seafood sector? Halibut, sablefish and shellfish are just a few ideas.
"As you raise your glass to give thanks, you can do so with award-winning B.C. wine, craft beer, cider, spirits, juice or pop.
"Cap off your meal with pies made from locally grown pumpkins and apples, as well as whipping cream, or some of our tasty artisan cheeses from local dairy farms.
"The B.C. government has big plans for our province's agriculture sector and we want to ensure our Thanksgiving dinner plates will continue to be filled with B.C. products in the future.
"We're going to do that with a three-pronged approach that will build opportunities and sales for B.C. farmers and processors through Grow BC, Feed BC and Buy BC.
This is an exciting time for the sector and I look forward to sharing the details of these programs in the coming months.
"On behalf of the Province, thank you B.C. agriculture for coming to dinner. Happy Thanksgiving!"
For an original pumpkin purée recipe from the kitchen of the minister, please click here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/…/Minister_Popham's_Pumpkin_Puree_re…

Monday, August 21, 2017

Times Colonist: From critic to minister: Lana Popham looks to grow ALR

Reprinted from the Times Colonist
Lana Popham, Saanich South MLA and Minister of
Agriculture. Photograph by Darren Stone, Times Colonist


/ TIMES COLONIST

AUGUST 20, 2017 06:00 AM


The transition to minister from critic can be an awkward one: After years of calling out one government, you’re extra vulnerable to scrutiny.
Saanich South MLA Lana Popham is paying that no mind. In her view, her experience as agriculture critic means she’s primed for her new role as minister of agriculture.
“I’ve spent eight years travelling the province and getting to know the agriculture community,” she said. “I feel like I’ve had training wheels on. And when I was sworn in, they were taken off and I was ready to go.”
At the top of Popham’s agenda is a promise to “revitalize” the Agricultural Land Reserve, the area of the province in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use, and the Agricultural Land Commission, the administrative tribunal meant to preserve B.C.’s farmland.
Popham says it will mean a few things. First is a boundary review to determine whether the protected zones align with farmable land. Improvements in technology will make things such as soil assessment more accurate than when the original boundaries were drawn, she said.
Climate change is also a factor: “I just met with the B.C. Cherry [Association] and they’re finding some varieties that they developed moving north are doing better, so now we have a new cherry-growing area. We wouldn’t have known that 40 years ago.”
More controversially, Popham says it’s time for all agricultural land to be treated equally, pending consultations.
In 2014, the B.C. Liberal government divided the ALR into two zones: In Zone 1, which includes Vancouver Island, the South Coast and the Okanagan, the Agricultural Land Commission bases its decisions on the original principle of protecting farmland. In Zone 2, which includes the North, Interior and Kootenay regions, the commission also considers “economic, cultural and social values, as well as regional and community planning objectives.”
Popham has previously said that Zone 2 opens farmland to other activity — including development — weakening the protection of ALR zoning.
“We shouldn’t have broken it into two. One of the reasons, and this is one of my mandates, is to encourage young people to get into farming,” she said, noting The cost of farmland goes up when it’s considered a viable host for other economic activities.
The shape of the Agricultural Land Commission might also change under Popham’s leadership. Six regional review panels could become a single provincial one, reducing what Popham sees as potential for political interference.
She is meeting with chairman and fellow Saanich resident Frank Leonard next week to hear his views on the new government’s mandate and how the commission is working.
Ian Paton, Liberal Delta MLA and agriculture critic, said regional panels are important because they use local knowledge.
“Different parts of the province vary, as farming issues go. And if I’m in Delta, why would I be making decisions on Fort St. John, if I don’t really know about Fort St. John or the issues up there?” he said.
Whatever zoning model is pursued, Paton said, farmers need to have the opportunity to pursue other economic activity, especially those outside southern B.C. who have shorter farming season and need winter work to supplement their incomes.
“We need to keep the opportunities there for farmers to be able to think outside the box and have different, non-farm use to create income in the months they’re not actually farming,” he said.
Farmland was not part of the agreement signed with the B.C. Green Party that allowed the New Democrats to form a minority government, but it doesn’t appear as though Popham’s plans will be a source of conflict.
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said boundary reviews are important, so long as they don’t result in the removal of vast quantities of land from the ALR. He also supports a return to single-zone ALR land.
“Going back to a single ALR zone is absolutely, completely and utterly supported. Good on Lana. If she’s going to initiate this, we would support that,” he said.
“The problem with the different zones is it was designed to essentially allow in areas other than southern B.C. for essentially widespread industrial activity to trump the preservation of agricultural land.”

© Copyright Times Colonist

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Update on the CRD’s Wastewater Treatment Project – Saanich South

Source: CRD WTP Construction Notice, August 9 2017
Starting on August 21st, the Wastewater Treatment Project (WTP) will be using truck-mounted equipment to drill approximately 70 boreholes along the proposed route of the “residual solids conveyance line”, from the treatment plant in Esquimalt to the Hartland Landfill. 

Each borehole will take several hours to drill and traffic may be reduced to a single lane during this time. Drilling will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week (except on the Labour day weekend). Hours will be reduced on weekdays in higher traffic volume areas. It is estimated this work will take six weeks to complete.

The purpose of the drilling is to assess the subsurface conditions of the proposed route. 

In addition there will be other preliminary geophysical work along certain sections of the proposed route to identify the bedrock profile along areas on Interurban Road, Interurban Trail, and Willis Point Road.

The WTP has committed to hold public information meetings in Saanich in the fall of this year. The purpose of these meetings will be to share information and receive public input on the proposed conveyance line route and pumping stations.

It is my understanding that at least two public meetings will be held this fall in Saanich South, with one meeting in the Strawberry Vale/Marigold area and the other in the Prospect Lake/Willis point area.

The WTP has also committed to create a Saanich community liaison committee before the scheduled start of construction, the Spring of 2018. This committee will be comprised of members of Saanich Community Associations and WTP staff and it would work to address specific issues before and during the construction phase.

For more information:
https://www.crd.bc.ca/docs/default-source/wastewater-planning-2014/crd_wtp_construction_geotechnical_work_residual_solids_conveyance_linefinal---august-09.pdf?sfvrsn=891d04ca_0
http://saanichsouth.blogspot.ca/2017/07/update-on-wastewater-treatment-project.html
https://saanichsouth.blogspot.ca/2016/12/saanich-news-concerns-remain-over.html 

Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Vancouver Sun: Wildfires first priority for an agriculture minister with big plans

Reprinted from the Vancouver Sun

Lana Popham is B.C.'s new agriculture minister, after years as the NDP farm
critic and a pre-politics career as a farmer.
 / VANCOUVER 
SUN

AUGUST 14, 2017 04:34 AM


The wildfires raging across the Interior have killed livestock, destroyed farms and devoured crops. Losses, both economic and personal, will be felt by farmers long after the flames are extinguished.
“It’s devastating,” said Popham, fresh from Kelowna where she recently met farmers and ranchers to discuss the disaster. “There are ranchers who have had operations for over 100 years and now they’re gone.”
With an estimated 30,000 cattle running loose across rangeland as fires continue to burn through forests and fences, the new government remains in emergency response mode. But she hopes that within a month, recovery can begin.
“This is unprecedented, so our response will be an unprecedented response,” said Popham. “A disaster of this magnitude is going to take some thinking about rural economic development. We have to move forward from this — and we will.”
The new minister’s positive attitude and determination to strengthen B.C.’s agriculture sector was clearly evident as she spoke to Postmedia about her new role last week. Below is an edited and condenses version of the interview.
Q. You have a background in farming and you’ve been the opposition agriculture critic since 2009. Did you expect to be named agriculture minister?
A. The decade before I became an MLA, I was a farmer; I was a grape farmer and a vegetable farmer. That experience led me to politics. I was really lucky to have access to my own land, but I watched young farmer friends who were leasing land only to have the owners change their minds. I thought to myself, “Why do people have to fight to farm in British Columbia?”
I ran to be an MLA in 2009, and I was elected. I was super grateful to be assigned the role of agriculture critic. This past election was my third. I got a call from Premier John Horgan asking me to be the minister of agriculture, and it was one of the best days of my life.
Because I was the ag critic for eight years, I joke that I tried to corner the market on that role. It’s like I’ve had training wheels for the last eight years. I’ve had the opportunity to go out and meet with the agriculture community from one end of this province to the other, so I definitely have an excellent background.
Q. The ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) was established by the NDP in 1973. Revitalizing the ALR and the ALC (Agricultural Land Commission) was identified as a priority in your mandate letter. What will that look like?
A. The ALR has been eroded over the last 16 years. We will be doing consultation work with the public, the farming community and businesses, but I feel like I’ve already been consulting on this for the last eight years. I know that there were a lot of people who were disappointed when the ALR was broken into two zones by the last government (with different rules around removal land from the ALR in the Lower Mainland than in the rest of the province), and there has been an overwhelming request to bring it back to one zone with the same mandate governing both zones.
The mandate of the ALC is to protect the ALR and encourage farming, and in many ways, it hasn’t been able to fulfil that mandate for a long time. Currently we have six regional panels that review applications for exclusions and inclusions — and the majority of applications are for exclusions. There was a report in 2010 that recommended one panel instead of six, and I can see the merit in conversations around that. Having one provincial panel really takes away any political influence. 
In 2010, a review of the reserve was suggested and a boundary review was started. It was stopped, but we will be looking at a boundary review again. When the original lines were drawn, some lands shouldn’t have been in, and some lands should have been. We’re not looking at major change, but it could use some tweaking.
Q. Could land removals — like the 500 acres Abbotsford council is asking the ALC to remove for industrial use, for example — be less common going forward?
A. Because the ALC is supposed to be independent, that lies in their hands. There are applications for exclusions right now, and that’s very worrisome. From my perspective, the way things have played out over the last 16 years, the reserve is being treated like a land bank for development, and that has to stop.
So my expectation of the ALC is to uphold the mandate. When an exclusion comes up that is a large exclusion for light industry, I expect them to uphold the mandate of protecting farmland and encouraging farming. I have yet to have a conversation with the commission mostly because we haven’t had time, but also because it has to be an independent tribunal, so any interference by me goes against how I wish it to operate. That being said, we will have to make some changes to make sure that the mandate is a priority. 
Q. In the past you’ve spoken about the ramifications of flooding farms in the Peace River Valley for the Site C dam. Will you fight the project?
A. I’ve always said that it should be sent to the B.C. Utilities Commission and now that it is, we need to trust that process. I am hopeful that we won’t be losing the farmland that’s associated with Site C. That said, if we do lose the land, we will continue with a heavy focus on the rest of the Peace region and come up with a development plan.
Q. You’re a big supporter of local food. How will the Grow B.C., Feed B.C., Buy B.C. programs identified in your mandate differ from what the Liberal government did to promote local food?
A. It’s very different. The Grow B.C. branch is centred on the ALR and policies that support farmers. I’ve often heard that when the land was protected, we forgot about the farmers. Part of that is a focus will be on getting young people into farming.
The part of our plan that will be the biggest game-changer is the Feed B.C. policy. We’re very much focused on moving more grown-and-processed-in-B.C. food into our hospital system and anywhere we’re purchasing food as a government. The last government had a very, very strong focus on the international market, and while we support developing the international market, I believe that took the focus off the domestic market.
We’ll also be bringing back our Buy B.C. program. The last government’s marketing of Buy Local was very piecemeal: Growers had to apply for it and certain producers got a grant. Mass marketing works much better. The Buy B.C. program was an incredible program in the 1990s. It hasn’t been working for 16 years, but British Columbians still recognize it. The opportunities to grow that in a more modern way are huge.
Q. Your government is planning a B.C. Food Innovation Centre — what is this?
A. This is something that almost every other province has, and it’s really connected to food processing. Right now when a startup business wants to find some product to process, they often don’t have a facility to develop it in. So they spend their research and development money in other provinces. This is something that we are absolutely set up for in B.C. if we create an innovation centre.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Quick update on my work as Minister of Agriculture

Good Morning! 

I wanted to give you a bit of an update on what has been happening over the past week. I've had more than a few messages asking me "What's going on?"

For starters let me say that this has been a week that is comparable to none that I have ever experienced.

After I was sworn in the work started immediately. It's a very difficult time for many in BC due to the intense forest fires. The agriculture community has been directly and greatly affected and so that has been a concern and focus for the Ministry of Agriculture. We are lucky to have excellent partners across the province who are showing incredible leadership and who are helping guide us in a way that is most helpful. Please accept my utmost appreciation to everyone involved.

Throughout this past 11 days I have been in numerous briefing meetings with staff at the Ministry of Agriculture getting me up to speed. Let me say that we have an incredible team of people working in the Ministry and I feel grateful to be the newest member. 


Below is a link to the Mandate letter given to me by the Premier of BC John Horgan.

I will work harder than I have ever worked to complete my mandate and to make our food systems better in BC.
I'll try and keep you updated as much as possible...at times it might just be a recipe.  Thanks for all of your support!

Lana

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/government/ministries-organizations/premier-cabinet-mlas/minister-letter/popham-mandate.pdf

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Saanich News: The Role of an MLA

MLA Report
By Lana Popham
Reprinted from the Saanich News, July 26, 2017


Given the recent big changes in B.C. politics now seems like a good moment to describe the duties and responsibilities of an MLA.
An MLA – or Member of the Legislative Assembly – is your elected representative in the Legislature of British Columbia. Each MLA is responsible for representing a different geographical area, called a “riding” or “constituency”. B.C. is carved up into 87 ridings (each with between 35,000-50,000 people), meaning that 87 individuals represent the 4.6 million residents of B.C.
Once elected, MLAs are expected to represent all people who live in their ridings, regardless of differences such as social standing, age, income, or political views. In my opinion, the most important aspect to this is to advance efforts that improve our shared quality of life, both in the riding and across the province.
Broadly, my work as an MLA happens in three different categories: contributing to the work of the legislature, finding solutions for issues in my riding, and assisting individual with problems or concerns related to the provincial government.
Much of the work I do takes place at the legislature in downtown Victoria. Provincial governments have significant power under the Canadian Constitution to make laws in a wide variety of areas, such as health care, education, agriculture and the environment. As a member of John Horgan’s B.C. New Democratic minority government, I will contribute to this work and give voice to the concerns and priorities of constituents in Saanich South.
Another large part of my job is to help solve problems in the riding I represent. For instance, I worked hard to improve safety at the intersection of the Pat Bay Highway and Sayward Road. It used to be one of the most dangerous intersections on the South Island, but after holding several community consultations and meeting with the Ministry of Transportation I was able to secure $3 million in safety upgrades for the intersection. Thankfully, data since the new upgrades has shown a significant decrease in the accident rate.
I also assist people who are struggling with issues that involve the provincial government and its various branches. Just since I was re-elected two months ago, I have helped a senior couple access respite care after they were wrongly told they would not be able to; helped a local business owner who was having problems with the provincial sales tax; met with Saanich teachers to discuss issues they are facing in the classroom; and advocated for homeowners worried about the CRD’s Wastewater Treatment Project at the Hartland Landfill.
In addition, MLAs who are part of the government often have additional responsibilities such as leading a ministry (which is a section of the public service). Earlier this month I was appointed to the cabinet to serve as the minister of agriculture for British Columbia. This Ministry has responsibilities such as strengthening agriculture and food security, protecting animals and ensuring food safety. Much of this work is done in partnership with the federal government. As a former organic farmer, this role is a dream come true.
Detailed information on what I do in the community and my work record is available at www.saanichsouth.ca. It is a privilege to serve as your representative in the government of British Columbia, and I am excited to see what the coming months and years will bring. If you require assistance with a branch of the provincial government, please contact me and I will do my absolute best to assist you. As well, I am always open to your feedback on any provincial matter.
Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South and the Minister of Agriculture for British Columbia. Her community office is located at 4085 Quadra Street and can be reached at 250 479 4154.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Update on the Wastewater Treatment Project in Saanich South

MLA Popham received a briefing from the Wastewater Treatment Project team on 6 July 2017.

Subsequent to that a flyer titled “Project Update #3 – July 2017” was sent out to most residents in the CRD with additional information. Copies of this flyer are available at the Constituency Office.

One of the central issues Popham raised was the importance of engaging the affected communities on a schedule which would allow their input and concerns to be taken into consideration. This is consistent with her article on this matter in the Saanich News. (Link here) This article also raises a number of concerns with the project and the process.

Popham was told that the Project Team wanted to do community consultations after they had enough of the plan put together so that they could meaningfully answer questions such as likely route of the pipeline. However, there was agreement that the consultations should be held early enough so that input from the community could inform the plan itself.

At the meeting, Popham requested that no less than two public consultations be held in Saanich South this Fall. Other public meetings have already been held in Victoria and Esquimalt as the plan for those areas is being implemented first and in fact is already well underway. Popham was also told that the WTP meets regularly with Saanich.

Popham specified that at least two public meetings in Saanich South were required because there would be general concerns regarding the pipeline in the Strawberry Vale/Marigold area and additional specific concerns in the Willis Point and Prospect Lake areas regarding the biosolid storage and eventual treatment at Hartland. She suggested one meeting be held at Spectrum School and another at the Prospect Lake Hall.

Regarding Hartland. The CRD is currently developing a plan for what to do with the biosolids. It is our understanding that they are planning to use anaerobic digestion in steel tanks or “biocell reactors” Biocells are a ‘closed loop cell’. Resources, including gas and material can be recovered. There would be an end product of Class A biosolids and that would need to be removed from Hartland at some point and in some form. The CRD reports that the facility must have the capacity to treat 32,000kg/day of residual solids.

At this meeting Popham raised concerns including the proposed cost of the project, the uncertainty of how the waste will be treated, the risks to waterways, contamination of well water, air quality and traffic disturbances.

The WTP gave Popham an informational binder which they committed to keep updated. It is at the Constituency Office and available for public inspection.

We are happy to continue working with concerned residents on any issues they have with this project. Please feel free to contact the office at any time.

Finally, it may be of interest to note that the WTP Board has a public meeting on the last Thursday of each month and visitors are able to ask questions.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada at 150

Just a century and a half ago, Canada as we know it was created by confederation. We have achieved so much since then.

Over the last 150 years we have built a diverse country that shines as a beacon of opportunity for people throughout the world. 

We have worked together to make Canada  a safe and prosperous country that prides itself on how we take care of each other.

Today is a day to celebrate how far we’ve come since confederation. We have much to be proud of!

It is my hope that on this day we will also redouble our commitment to take on the challenges that await. Let us be inspired by the accomplishments of the past 150 years to seek a better future for the next 150 years.

We must do more to recognize the rights and titles of Indigenous peoples who have called this land home for thousands of years. We can do more to address the wrongs committed in the creation of Canada and create true reconciliation with the First Nations of this land.

And we need to continue to fight racism, discrimination and social injustice to ensure our communities are fair and offer opportunities to everyone.

Furthermore we must do much more to address the great challenge of our time: climate change. The impacts of human-caused global warming could be devastating to our environment if we don't act now. 

Today let us celebrate what is wonderful about Canada!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

41st Parliament begins today

Oath ceremony with Leader John Horgan, 8/6/17
Dear Constituents,

Thank you for your support!

It is an honour to continue serving Saanich South in the BC Legislature!

This morning the 41st session began with the election of a Speaker. In just a few minutes I will take my seat in the House to hear the BC Liberals Throne Speech. They are trying to show they have the confidence of a majority of the MLAs elected in BC and have promised a speech full of big promises.

A big problem for them is that they most certainly DO NOT have the confidence of the House. Christy Clark and the BC Liberals are pursuing a strategy of delay and distraction. BC deserves better than that.

A majority of voting British Columbians chose the BC NDP or the Greens in the election last month. The BC NDP has signed an accord with the Greens and we are ready to govern.

I'm excited to get to work in a new BC NDP government. There is a lot of important and urgent work to be done - there is no more time for BC Liberal games. British Columbians voted for new leadership that works for regular people instead of just those at the top.

We’re ready to deliver it.

While all this drama continues at the Legislature, I am working hard with my team in the Saanich South Constituency Office. For example, here is a column I wrote this week for the Saanich News. It is an update on remediation efforts for Elk and Beaver Lake.

Warm regards, Lana

MLA Saanich South

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saanich News: CRD shores up remediation for Elk and Beaver lakes

MLA Report
By Lana Popham
Reprinted from the Saanich News, June 18, 2017

I’m pleased to report that progress is being made on remediation efforts for Elk Lake and Beaver Lake.
This is an issue that’s been close to my heart for quite some time – I wrote an opinion piece for the Saanich News close to a year ago highlighting the problems these two environmental treasures face.
Blooms of noxious cyanobacteria have become increasingly common over the past years, due to high level of phosphorous in the water. The resulting blue-green algae blooms can be poisonous to both dogs and swimmers.
Many of you may have noticed that the lakes have been regularly closed to the public because the health risk is too high. The health of fish in the lakes is also declining, and harmful aquatic weeds are spreading rapidly.
The deterioration of Elk and Beaver lakes is especially concerning given their importance in Saanich, and indeed, across the entire Capital Regional District. Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park is the most heavily-used park in the CRD with an astonishing 1.46 million visits in 2016. The lakes are also home to the National Rowing and National Triathlon teams, and are popular with recreational fishers and boaters as well. Walkers and runners (including myself!) frequent the trail that goes throughout the park, and the swimming beaches are so popular it can be hard to find a spot in summer.
One thing is clear: Elk and Beaver lakes need to be protected.
That’s why I’m pleased to see the CRD Regional Parks Committee is voting June 21 on two recommendations aiming to do exactly that.
The first recommendation is specific to Beaver Lake, and suggests purchasing an aeration system at a cost of around $40,000. This system would work to minimize algae growth, promote aquatic plants, discourage invasive species, and improve the recreational use of land. These are all desirable outcomes.
The second recommendation is specific to Elk Lake, and involves developing a business case for purchasing a high-efficiency, deep-water oxygenation system for Elk Lake. This system would be significantly more expensive – a one-time cost of $700,000 would be needed to purchase and install the equipment, and maintenance and operation costs over a 10-year period could average about $85,000 a year.
Although developing a business case (essentially a drawn-out cost/benefit analysis) means that Elk Lake will likely not receive a specialized system until at least the next fiscal year – which is disappointing – I am happy that the CRD is performing its due diligence to evaluate all options. This should ultimately minimize the cost of the project for taxpayers, as grants and external funding sources could be pursued. It is my hope, however, that progress will continue at a fast pace. Simply put, we don’t have time to lose.
I will continue to monitor this issue closely, and will provide more public updates as new information becomes available. Let’s work together on this issue to create a better Saanich, and a better British Columbia.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Working together to make life better for people


Dear Constituents,

Today the BC Liberal government announced it will recall the Legislature on June 22nd. The first order of business must be to elect a Speaker. The BC Liberal Government then intends to 'test the confidence of the House'. 

Tomorrow I will be sworn-in and will then formally be the MLA for Saanich South. 

Below is a message from Opposition Leader John Horgan. 

Last week B.C. New Democrats reached an historic agreement with the B.C. Greens to bring the change in government that B.C. voters told us they want. This agreement is about people and the change they voted for. It’s about getting things done for families. It’s about making exciting changes that will make life better for people.

We’re going to make life more affordable. We’re going to fix the services people count on. And we’re going to build a sustainable economy that works for everybody, and delivers good, stable, family-supporting jobs.

From health care to housing, from defending our coast to caring for our kids, we will work together to deliver change on what matters most to people.

Whether it is getting rid of unfair tolls, banning big money from politics, or ensuring our schools are equipped with basics like playgrounds and school supplies – there is so much a New Democrat government can do to make our province better for families.

I am very much looking forward to the coming weeks, when we will finally get the opportunity to form government and get to work for people.

Families have waited 16 years for high quality care for our vulnerable elders, and better access to family doctors. They have waited 16 years for their children to get out of portables and into real classrooms. They have waited 16 years for a government that takes our housing crisis seriously and takes real action to make life affordable for families.

In just a few short weeks B.C. New Democrats and B.C. Greens will work together to bring the change that British Columbians voted for. After 16 long years of waiting for solutions to so many problems, help is on the way.

Voters clearly said they want a government that works for people. A government that works together. And we will deliver on that government.

B.C. New Democrat and B.C. Green MLAs are not going to always agree on everything – but our agreement will give British Columbians a stable government, even should we disagree. I’m optimistic and excited for the future – because we agree on so very, very much.

New Democrats put forward a great platform during the election. It was a platform I was extremely proud of. It was about people and families and what matters to them the most. 

I intend to deliver on the commitments we made to the people of B.C., and on the priorities we share with the B.C. Greens.

Together, we have the confidence of the legislature, and the ability to govern. We can offer people the stability they want, the solutions they need and the results they deserve.

After 16 years of a government working for those at the top, we will have a government that works people. With the support of the B.C. Green MLAs, we will make life better for everyone in B.C.

I can’t wait to get started.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

B.C. New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses ratify historic agreement

MLA-Elects Lana Popham (BC NDP), Judy Darcy (BC NDP),
Sonia Furstenau (BC Green Party) and Adam Olsen (BC Green Party)
signing the Confidence and Supply Agreement, 30 May 2017
All 44 elected MLAs from the B.C. New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses have ratified an agreement pledging to work together to support a stable New Democrat government that works for people.

"The people of B.C. spoke loud and clear on election day - they want a government that works for them, not just those at the top. With the signing of this historic agreement, we are showing that we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work together to make lives better for British Columbians," said John Horgan, leader of the B.C. New Democrats.

"The results of the election clearly demonstrated that voters wanted to put an end to the bitter, divisive and cynical politics of the past, and get on with productive governance. Today, I am very proud to stand with John Horgan and our respective caucuses to demonstrate how two distinct parties can work together for the good of all," said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Greens.

The B.C. New Democrat Government has agreed to advance several legislative and policy initiatives identified as a condition of support by the B.C. Green Caucus, including: 
Reforming our electoral system, getting the influence of big money out of politics, and reforming lobbying rules;

Recognizing that education is about lifelong learning and fast-tracking enhancement to K-12 education funding;

Protecting and promoting public health care, creating a proposal for an essential drugs program, and giving families the security of quality, affordable child care;

Getting people moving with better transit;

Giving the opioid crisis the attention it deserves;

Establishing an Emerging Economy Task Force and an Innovation Commission;

Eliminating Medical Services Premiums;

Implementing a basic income pilot project;

Fighting climate change while creating good jobs and introducing rebate cheques that will mean most people pay less while increasing the carbon tax beginning in 2018;

Sending the Site C project immediately to an independent review;

Opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.
"This agreement establishes a relationship of 'good faith and no surprises' between the B.C. Green caucus and a B.C. New Democrat government. It is our hope that it becomes a model for future B.C. governments, where working across party lines is quite ordinary. I have always believed we are better off when diverse views can be represented at the table. This is a new era for politics in B.C. - one where British Columbians are truly the winners," said Weaver.

"British Columbians have been waiting 16 long years for solutions to so many problems, and we want to help. A New Democrat government, with the support of Green MLAs, will make life more affordable, fix the services people count on, and build a sustainable economy that works for people. This agreement means we have the opportunity to make those changes that are so important. I'm optimistic and excited for the future," said Horgan.

The agreement can be found here.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Thank you!

Dear Constituents of Saanich South,

Thank you for participating in the democratic process.

It is an honour and a privilege to continue representing this constituency in the B.C. Legislature.

I welcome your opinions and directions on political matters of the day --especially given the uncertain dynamics of a potentially 'hung parliament' in the Legislative Assembly of B.C.

I am also soliciting your input on what priorities you would ask me to take on in the upcoming term.

I can be reached at lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca or 250 479 4154.

As always, please contact my office if you require assistance with programmes or agencies of the B.C. provincial government.

Until voting results are finalized by Elections BC and I am sworn in as an MLA in the Legislative Assembly, my work is circumscribed under law. Public hours at my Constituency Office are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm.

Warmly,

Lana

Lana Popham
MLA-Elect, Saanich South


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Website temporarily closed

Dear Saanich South,


On April 11 2017, the Lieutenant Governor will issue a "writ of election" which will dissolve the Legislative Assembly of BC and begin a 28 day election period regulated by Elections BC.

During this period I will no longer be an MLA and cannot do any work as an MLA. I will be one of several candidates running for re-election in Saanich South. Therefore the Constituency Office will not have regular hours and this website will be suspended.

However, limited Saanich South Constituency Office services will remain available in order to assist constituents with urgent matters. If the matter is an emergency please call 911. If you are a resident of Saanich South and require urgent assistance with provincial matters that cannot wait until after the election then please contact Samuel Godfrey at 250 813 3233.

Throughout the writ period, many British Columbians will be interested in more detail regarding candidates and their party's platform. The constituency office is non-partisan and cannot be involved with the election. 

Information on voting and the election is available at elections.bc.ca.

Saanich South Candidate information (available at this time on the internet) is as follows:

David Calder, BC Liberal Party
759 B Vanalman
David.calder@bcliberals.com

Mark Neufeld, Green Party Political Association of BC
1-4071 Shelbourne Street
markneufeldsas@gmail.com
1-888-473-3686

Andrew Paul McLean, British Columbia Libertarian Party
Contact:  info@libertarian.bc.ca

Richard Percival Pattee, Vancouver Island Party
 Contact: 1-844-933-4847

Lana Popham, BC NDP
101 – 4442 West Saanich Road, (Royal Oak Shopping Centre).
778 817 1135

Please check elections.bc.ca for official/updated information 

This website will be closed until the Return of the Writ in June 2017. The back-end (a free blog) may remain searchable on the internet. It is a public record of my work over the last four years.

I hope you will participate in the democratic process! Election day is May 9. You can vote early but not often. Elections BC is doing a great job to make it convenient to vote. For all the details on how to vote, please visit elections.bc.ca

It was a privilege to serve as the Saanich South MLA. Thank you.

Lana

Lana Popham, Incumbent Saanich South

Monday, March 13, 2017

End-of-Term Constituency Report


Dear Constituents,

Here is the digital version of my end-of-term report. Click on the 'full screen' icon to view a large version. The purpose of this document is to report out to constituents on my recent work in the constituency. With the provincial election fast approaching, I am also contributing space in this report to share non-partisan information from Elections on how and when to vote. Printed versions were mailed out to households in Saanich South (unless they opted out of "ad-mail" with Canada Post) and hard copies are available from my constituency office.

Warmly, Lana

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Horgan calls on Clark to ensure Elections BC can complete its investigation before British Columbians vote

VICTORIA— In the wake of serious revelations about Christy Clark’s fundraising tactics, B.C. New Democrat Leader John Horgan is calling on the government to provide Elections BC with sufficient resources to complete its investigation before British Columbians vote.
“With disturbing reports that B.C. Liberal insiders may be breaking the law to help Christy Clark’s corporate donors cover their tracks, British Columbians deserve to have all the facts before they vote in just 63 days,” said Horgan.
“I’m calling on Christy Clark to make that happen by offering Elections BC any resources it needs to fast-track this investigation and uncover the extent of this behavior before election day.”

Friday, March 3, 2017

Families can’t get kids into schools, paying the price for Christy Clark’s neglect to education

VICTORIA – Families across B.C. are struggling to get their kids into their neighbourhood schools because Christy Clark’s government refused to plan for growth, say B.C. New Democrats.
“Parents in Coquitlam, Vancouver and Surrey are trying to get their kids registered for school, but are being told by Christy Clark’s government that there’s no space in the schools,” says Rob Fleming, B.C. New Democrat spokesperson for education.
“Schools are too crowded because Christy Clark lost her personal 15-year war on education when she was ordered by the courts to stop trying to cram too many children into each class room,” said Fleming. “And because she has been too busy closing 250 schools across the province instead of planning for growth, there’s no space left.”