Thursday, October 14, 2021


When we formed government in 2017, the system of mental health and addictions care in this province was a fragmented system of services that had been neglected for far too long and didn’t meet people’s needs.

For the past four years our government has been busy patching holes to get people the care they need, and we have also been developing a comprehensive plan to make the systemic change required to effectively deal with the drug poisoning crisis and the additional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s mental health. 

This week we announced an investment of $132 million over the next three years to transform treatment and recovery services for people living with addiction. 

This funding will increase services across all regions of the province and across the continuum of care, including withdrawal management, transition and assessment, treatment, and aftercare services. Included are 65 new or enhanced services, more than 130 new staff, and approximately 195 new treatment beds. 

Island Health will see things like new residential treatment beds to support women and the extension of the Indigenous-led (Gwa'sala-'nakwaxda'xw) partnership program for alcohol treatment and recovery in Port Hardy. 
These are just some of the many programs and services that will be rolled out over the next three years. We’ll be working with health authorities to plan and implement a full set of services. 

For more information on this historic investment, visit this page. 

Sincerely,



Thursday, October 7, 2021

 


This week, I returned to the Legislature to kick off our fall sitting. All MLAs are fully vaccinated, and this week, for the first time, we were all able to come together in person to bring forward and discuss legislation and vote on issues that matter to British Columbians and build a stronger BC.  
 
It was a great reminder that vaccinations are the key to putting this pandemic behind us.  
 
If you have a friend or family member who is eligible but still hasn’t gotten their COVID-19 vaccine, please take some time this weekend to talk to them. Listen to their concerns, understand their perspective, and help them find clear, accurate information that answers their questions. Whey they’re ready, you can help them register for an appointment or find a nearby drop-in clinic by clicking here.  
 
Here are a few updates about actions our government took this week: 
 
Vaccinations required for visitors to health care facilities 
Starting October 12, people who wish to visit friends and loved ones in long-term care homes must show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. This is an important step to protect some of the most vulnerable in our province. Beginning on October 26, this will extend to include visitors to acute care and community care settings. These steps build on other actions we’ve taken, including requiring vaccinations for all staff in these facilities. 
 
Applications open for Young Leaders Council 
The voices of young people matter. We're launching applications to select up to 15 young people aged 14-26 for the StrongerBC Young Leaders Council. These youth will meet regularly and provide input to the Premier’s Special Advisor on Youth, MLA Brittny Anderson. Please encourage young people in your life to apply to join the Young Leaders Council!
 
Mandatory training for new commercial truck drivers 
We all want our roads and highways to be as safe as possible. The new mandatory training requirement will ensure that new commercial truck drivers have the skills and experience they need to safely navigate BC roads in all kinds of weather. As of October 18, drivers applying for a Class 1 license will have to show proof of completing the training. This will make our roads safer for everyone. You can learn more here

Thank you,



Tuesday, October 5, 2021


With the Legislature back in session this week I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you a few updates from the past couple weeks.
 
Making the switch to clean electricity
The climate crisis demands urgent action, and our province has the clean electricity resources to power a sustainable future. Last week we announced our 5-year plan to make it easier and more affordable for people to use made-in-B.C. clean power in place of fossil fuels.

This plan is projected to help us avoid an additional 930,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2025. That is equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road. 

As more and more daily activities like driving, heating our homes, and producing industrial goods switch from fossil fuels to clean electricity, we will reduce carbon emissions and make our province less polluting and more efficient.

Capping fees for restaurants
With many people ordering delivery and takeout during the pandemic, restaurants have depended more and more on delivery services and apps to get their food safely to customers.

Last December, we responded to the calls of the restaurant industry and put a cap on the fees that these delivery services can charge to restaurants. This cap provided much-needed relief for restaurants trying to stay afloat and put more money back into the pockets of people working in the restaurant industry.
  
Last week, we extended this cap until the end of 2021, so we can continue helping restaurants and the more than 180,000 people they employ in B.C.
 
Helping more people to get good tech jobs
We are also partnering with B.C.’s growing tech sector to help more people get jobs in tech, including people who are under-represented in the industry such as women, LGBTQ2S+ people, Black, Indigenous and people of colour, people with disabilities or neurodiversity, and more. 

B.C. companies can apply for a grant of up to $10,000 to hire new tech roles. The program is open to everyone, but priority will be given to people from under-represented groups.

Sincerely,



Friday, September 24, 2021


With summer officially over I think that it’s time to share my pumpkin pie recipe! One of my constituency staff, Maureen, has also kindly shared her pie dough recipe with us! I hope you enjoy them!

Maureen’s Pie Dough Recipe:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp salt
6 ounces butter
2 ounces vegetable shortening
1/2 cup ice water minus 1 tbsp
1 tbsp BC vodka

Put the flours, salt and diced butter into food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times to break up the butter. Add the shortening, turn on the machine, pour in the ice water and vodka, and pulse 2 or 3 times. Remove the cover and feel the dough - it should look like a bunch of small lumps and will just hold together in a mass when you press a handful together. Do not over mix - it should not mass on the blade of the machine. If too dry pulse in droplets of water.
 
Turn the dough out onto your work surface, press it into a rough mass. For a final blending, rapidly and roughly, with the heel of your hand, push egg-size clumps of dough out in front of you in a 6 inch smear. Form the dough into a round cake, wrap in plastic and chill for a couple of hours.

Lana’s Pie Filling Recipe:

1 BC sugar pumpkin (about 4 pounds), halved
6 large eggs 
1 tbsp heavy cream 
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp packed light-brown sugar 
2 tbsp cornstarch 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 
3 cups evaporated milk 
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Clean fresh pumpkin, roast cut sides down, on a rimmed baking sheet until soft, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool completely. 

In food processor, process pumpkin until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure out 3 cups. Transfer pumpkin to a large bowl. Add brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, eggs, evaporated milk. Whisk until combined. Place pie dough in 2 pie dishes.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Place pie dishes on rimmed baking sheets. Divide pumpkin mixture evenly between shells. Sprinkle grated ginger on top of pies. Bake until all but centers are set, about 40 minutes.

Sincerely,



Wednesday, September 22, 2021


Great news! Our government is working on a made-in-BC paid sick leave program because we believe that no worker should have to choose between going to work sick or losing pay.
 
Approximately 50% of BC’s workers do not have access to paid sick leave. This means that upwards of one million workers will benefit from paid sick leave! Our paid sick leave program is coming into effect on January 1st, 2022.
 
We’re inviting workers, employers, and all other interested parties to give feedback on how many days of paid leave are provided. Visit https://engage.gov.bc.ca/paidsickleave/ anytime before 4PM on October 25th to have your say! At this time, the engagement survey is only available in English but early next week the survey will also be available in Punjabi, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Tagalog.

Thank you,

Friday, September 17, 2021


As your MLA, my top priority is ensuring people in Saanich and across B.C. get the support and care they need to thrive. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink how we care for each other, but our government’s commitment remains steadfast. 

I wanted to share with you a few actions our government has taken over the last week to ensure people have the support they need.

New accessible playgrounds:

Last week we announced that more than 14,000 students in B.C. will soon be playing on new, accessible playgrounds. We’re building 60 new accessible playgrounds at schools around the province. This investment means less fundraising for parents, and more time playing with their kids. Playing outdoors is not only fun, it also helps students to practice sharing and problem solving. Being active at recess helps kids to focus and learn better in the classroom. The new playgrounds will have accessible features like ground cover, ramps, and transfer platforms, ensuring a place for kids of all abilities to play. 

Of the 60 new accessible playgrounds 3 of them are in Saanich South! The new playgrounds will be at Northridge Elementary, Lake Hill Elementary, and the Children’s Development Centre in Cordova Bay!

Over $1.45 million raised for wildfire relief:

This wildfire season has been devastating for many families in BC. I am so grateful for our fire crews, who have been nothing short of heroic in their efforts to keep everyone safe. I want to thank everyone who has donated to the Canadian Red Cross to support their work. Customers at BC Liquor Stores and BC Cannabis Stores have shown their community spirit by collectively donating over $1.45 million, which will be matched by the provincial and federal governments, for a total of over $4.35 million. For more info on the supports available for people, and how you can help, visit emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/

Strengthening our ambulance system:

When you call 911 in an emergency, you should feel confident that help is on the way quickly. We are strengthening our ambulance system by converting 24 rural and remote paramedic stations from on-call to 24/7 staffing. This will mean faster response times for people in small communities from Tofino to Fernie to Fort St James. We are also in the process of hiring 85 new paramedics for larger centres, from Metro Vancouver, to Kamloops, to Prince George.


Sincerely,



Thursday, September 16, 2021


Effective this week, people aged 12+ need to show proof of at least one does of a COVID-19 vaccine to access some recreational events and businesses in BC. Here is some information that might help answer any questions you may have:

What do I need to show for proof of vaccination?
  • You can show either a screenshot on your phone of your vaccine card or a paper copy. 
  • Until September 26th you can show a copy of your BC immunization record in place of your Vaccine Card
  • If you are visiting from outside of BC you can show an outside-of-BC immunization record instead of a BC Vaccine Card
  • Everyone aged 19+ must also show government-issued photo ID with their proof of vaccination

How do I get my Vaccine Card?
  • Visit www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard to get a digital copy or a PDF which you can print out. It only takes a minute!
  • Do you know someone without a computer? Let them know that they can call 1-833-838-2323 to get a copy of their card mailed to them! They can also have a trusted friend or family member print off their card or visit a Service BC centre to get their card!

Where do I need to show proof of vaccination?
  • Restaurants, pubs, and bars,
  • Movie theatres,
  • Casinos and nightclubs,
  • Gyms, dance studios, and other recreation facilities,
  • Indoor organized events with more than 50 people such as ticketed sports games, conferences, and weddings,
  • Indoor organized group activities with more than 50 people such as pottery classes and choir, and
  • Indoor adult sports for people aged 22+
  • For the full list please visit www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard 

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions or need assistance please reach out to my office at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca or 250-479-4154.

Sincerely,



Thursday, September 9, 2021



Vaccines are the key to putting the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. 

In order to keep people safer while doing the things they enjoy, proof of vaccination will soon be required for people attending certain social and recreational businesses and events.

Starting Monday, September 13, you will need to show proof of one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to access places like bars, pubs, sit-down restaurants, concerts, casinos, movie theatres, gyms, indoor recreational classes, ticketed sports events, and organized indoor events with 50 people or more. Starting October 24, you will need to show proof that you are fully vaccinated – meaning seven days have passed since your second dose.
 
The easiest way to display your proof of vaccination is to visit this site and obtain your individual QR code. Simply download or screenshot the image and save it to your smartphone, to have it wherever you go. 

You can also print your QR code and carry the paper copy in your wallet. If you don’t have access to a smartphone or a printer, you can call 1-833-838-2323 and a representative will mail you a printed copy. If you or someone you know need information or assistance in a different language, the call centre can provide translation. The call centre is available every day from 7am to 7pm.

As we’ve always said, getting vaccinated is a choice. By choosing to get vaccinated, you choose to protect kids who can’t get vaccinated, and those who have higher risk of severe illness or who may not develop as strong an immune response.

By choosing to get vaccinated, you are also choosing to support local restaurants, attend a Canucks game, go to spin class or hot yoga, or take in a concert. Getting vaccinated is the best choice to protect yourself and the people you love, and to ensure you can continue to participate in the recreational activities and social events you love. 

As a reminder, you won’t need to show proof of vaccination to do essential things. This includes going to a grocery store, pharmacy, or picking up fast food or take out. It also includes banks, retail or clothing stores, shelters and food banks, hairdressers or barbers, and places of worship. 

For the complete list of which places will and won’t require proof of vaccine, visit gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard

If you have any questions about the vaccine card or need assistance with obtaining your proof of vaccination, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My team and I are here to help you. You can reach my office by calling 250-479-4154, emailing us at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca, or visiting us at 260-4243 Glanford Avenue during office hours. Our office hours are Monday - Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm


Thank you,


 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021


 
This week, students in BC are headed back to school for a new school year. I know that many kids are excited to get back to classes, sports, extracurriculars, and seeing their friends. I also know that many parents have questions about how we are continuing to adapt to the changing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The health and safety of students and staff remains our top priority. The school safety protocols are guided by the experts at the BC Centre for Disease Control and developed in collaboration with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and our K-12 steering committee.
 
Here are the key measures in place this school year
:

  • All students and staff must complete a health check every day and stay home if they are sick. You can use the K-12 Health Check website or app to quickly go through the checklist.
  • All staff, visitors, and all students in Grades 4-12, must wear a mask indoors and on the bus. Students in K-3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask if they can put it on and take it off themselves.
  • $87.5 million has been invested to improve ventilation systems in B.C. schools.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of rooms and surfaces will follow BC CDC guidance, with all frequently touched surfaces cleaned every 24 hours.
  • This year, sports, clubs and extracurriculars will continue, with safety plans in place, and in accordance with local, regional, and provincial public health orders.

These precautions are being put in place so that students can continue learning in the classroom and have every opportunity to achieve their goals. For more info on how we're keeping schools safe, visit this page.
 
We’ve also invested an additional $5 million this year for increased mental health supports for students. We know the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. With this funding, each school district will be able to deliver the programs that work for their community and help kids thrive.  
 
The best thing we can all do to keep ourselves and those around us safe is to get vaccinated. If you know someone who is looking for info on where to get their shots send them this link. Many clinics are now offering walk in appointments every day, maybe you can even offer to help someone find a walk-in clinic that is close and convenient!  


Sincerely,


Thursday, August 19, 2021


 
Hello,

Our office will be closed for a Summer break starting on Monday August 23rd.

We will reopen after Labour Day on Tuesday September 7th with a return to our regular office hours of 9:00AM - 4:00PM Monday to Friday. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Here are some resources that may be helpful to you while my office is closed:
  • If you need assistance with any BC Government agencies please call 250-387-6121.
  • If you have an issue regarding Agriculture and Fisheries you can email the Ministry's office at: AGR.Minister@gov.bc.ca
  • Finally, the latest news from the B.C. government can be found here.

Thank you,


Tuesday, August 17, 2021



Punjabi Mela!

I’m looking forward to celebrating Independence Day and Mela Teeyan Da at the Punjabi Mela at Beckwith Park! So many people are gathering to rejoice together with food and dance! 


It takes many hands to organize these rich cultural events in our community and I would like to thank all the organizers who are working tirelessly to make this event happen!


Checkout the event details in the flyer below!




Sincerely,



Thursday, August 12, 2021



Another heat warning is in effect for Saanich South!

Temperatures are expected to climb to the early thirties and stay high overnight. Take steps to protect yourself and don't forget to check in on your neighbours.

Make sure to:
  • Drink plenty of fluids,
  • Keep cool – find AC or a fan if you can, otherwise try a cold bath or shower to cool down,
  • Avoid sunburn by using plenty of sunscreen and staying inside during peak heat, and
  • Never leave a child or pet in a car, even if you crack the window

Sincerely,


Tuesday, August 10, 2021


Saanich South Summer Reading Competition!
 
Do you live in Saanich South? Do you love reading? Do you like free books?
 
Enter our Summer Reading Competition for a chance to win a free book of your choice from a local bookstore! All you have to do is show that you live in Saanich South and let us know what book(s) you’ve been reading this summer!
 

Here’s how to participate:


  1. Send an email to us at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca by September 10, 2021 and let us know (either by sharing a picture or just telling us) what book you're currently reading! You are also welcome to share your entire summer reading list with us!
  2. In your email to us, include your postal code to prove that you live in Saanich South
  3. Done! A winner will be chosen by a random draw after September 10th


I can’t wait to see what everyone in Saanich South has been reading this summer!

Thank you,


Friday, August 6, 2021


What do you think about paid sick days?

The pandemic has highlighted just how important it is to stay home from work when you are sick to reduce the spread of illness and keep people healthy. But many people, especially those in lower-paying jobs without benefits, don’t have that choice and they can’t afford to lose wages by missing work.
 
Our government introduced three days of paid sick leave during the pandemic, to bridge the gap for people accessing the federal sickness benefit. At the same time, we committed to putting in place a permanent paid sick leave program, so that everyone can access paid sick days and stay home when they need to. This permanent program will come into effect in January 2022, but we want you to tell us what it should look like.
 
We want to make sure this program reflects the needs and experiences of people in B.C., so we’re inviting both workers and employers to participate in a short survey to help us shape the program. Go to engage.gov.bc.ca/paidsickleave/ to participate – the survey will be open until September 14. Whether you currently have paid sick days at your workplace or not, we want to hear from you. The survey should only take a few minutes and doesn’t ask for any personal information. All the responses will be kept confidential.
 
As our economy continues to recover from the pandemic, we also want to make sure that people whose employment was impacted are recovering as well. That’s why we’ve announced an investment of $95 million in skills training programs to support over 9,000 people across the province.
 
We’re helping people to re-skill or up-skill so they can find the right job for them and support themselves and their families while also boosting our local economies. If you or someone you know is unemployed or under-employed and looking to learn new skills, visit this link to see programs that are available
.

Thank you,


Friday, July 30, 2021


As of this week, over 80% of eligible people in B.C. have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 60% are fully vaccinated with two doses. But we need even more people to get vaccinated so we can help limit the spread of COVID-19 and stay safe and healthy. 

If you haven’t booked your vaccine yet I encourage everyone to do so as soon as possible. You can register for your vaccine and find out more information here.

As we head into the long weekend, heat warnings are in place for much of Vancouver Island. Please take precautions to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Here are a few tips:
  • Drink plenty of water, even before you get thirsty,
  • If you can, plan work and activities for before 10AM and after 4PM,
  • Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing, and a wide brimmed hat,
  • If possible, try to stick to air-conditioned areas or use a fan,
  • Never leave a child or pet alone in a car, even if you crack the window, and
  • Check on loved ones and neighbours, especially seniors, as the heat can be especially dangerous for more vulnerable members of our community

Sincerely,



Wednesday, July 28, 2021


 

Have you been vaccinated yet?

The chart above shows that vaccines work. Vaccinated people are way less likely to get Covid, and those that do have a greatly reduced chance of ending up in the hospital. Get yours as soon as you can, and talk to your friends and family about the benefits of getting vaccinated.

If you haven't been vaccinated yet, or if it's been more than 49 days since your first dose, now is the time to get vaccinated. Visit here to register for a vaccine (if you haven't already), and visit this website to learn about drop-in vaccine clinics.

Please continue to follow Covid guidelines and restrictions, get vaccinated as soon as you can, and encourage your friends and family to get vaccinated too.

Thank you,


Friday, July 23, 2021

 


Our top priority has always been, and will always be, keeping people safe. On Tuesday July 20, Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, declared a State of Emergency, based on the advice of emergency management and wildfire officials. 

Thousands of firefighting and emergency response staff are already in the field and nothing has stood in the way of them getting the resources they need to respond to wildfires and support people. The State of Emergency allows us to move quickly, should the need arise, to ensure coordination and secure more accommodation spaces. 

The cooperation from all levels of government and in our communities has been outstanding, and we expect this to continue as we move through another very difficult fire season. Whether you live in an affected area or are planning travel across B.C., I encourage you to visit www.bcwildfire.ca for the latest information to help keep yourself and your family safe. 

We know that climate change is expected to make these types of extreme events more frequent and that we need strong, coordinated action around the world to reduce emissions and build a cleaner economy for everyone.  

In B.C., we’re taking a range of actions through our CleanBC plan to build a more sustainable future powered by more renewable energy. We’ve also supported a Cultural and Prescribed Fire program to promote healthy forests and reduce wildfire risk. We’ve invested in wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, forest rehabilitation, and other efforts through the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and Forest Carbon Initiative. 

Sometimes, taking care of our environment also happens on a smaller scale. This week, we took action to protect wildlife like owls by restricting the sale and use of certain rodenticides. These are poisons designed to kill rodents, which often end up harming or killing the owls or other wildlife that eat these rodents. This temporary ban will allow us to collaborate with experts in the field of rodent control and wildlife protection and work together on public education and the prevention of further harm to wildlife in our province.

As always, please do your part to help prevent wildfires by respecting bans on campfires, open fires, and fireworks. To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, please call 1-800-663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone).

Sincerely,


Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Do you know what to do if you’ve lost your home or vehicle to a wildfire? Do you have questions about things like EI benefits or mail delivery in fire-affected areas? If you or a loved one has been impacted by a BC Wildfire visit http://emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca and click on "Recovery & Supports" and there you’ll be able to connect to many of the key resources that you may need.
 
Now let's all do our part by respecting bans on campfires, fireworks, and open fires and being extra cautious when disposing of things that may start a fire, such as cigarettes.

As always, please reach out to my office if you need assistance with provincial programs. You can do so by emailing Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca or calling 250-479-4154.

Thank you,


Thursday, July 15, 2021

 


Renewed Ambulance Services:

When you call 911 for a medical emergency, you should feel confident that help is on the way. That’s why we’re taking action to improve B.C.’s ambulance system by making it faster and more responsive, and a better place to work for paramedics.
 
Our government is hiring 85 new full-time paramedics and 30 new full-time dispatchers. We’re also funding 22 new ambulances around the province. To better serve rural communities, we’re converting 22 rural ambulance stations to 24/7 ALPHA stations. We’re also directing health authorities to add additional staff at hospital emergency departments to receive patients from ambulances – so that paramedics can get back on the road to respond to calls more quickly.
 
We’re also making changes to the board and leadership of BC Emergency Health Services, making it more accountable to the Minister of Health, with a mandate to ensure better service for British Columbians.
 
Since 2017, the BC Emergency Health Services annual budget has increased from $424.25 million to $559.12 million a year, doubling the average annual spending increases compared to the previous year. There is still more to do, and we’re committed to making sure these services are there when people need them.
 
Many parts of our province are also dealing with the impacts of wildfires right now. My thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted, and all the first responders who are assisting. Let’s do our part to prevent forest fires by respecting current bans on campfires, open fires, and fireworks.
 
The federal and provincial governments have both committed to matching donations to the Red Cross' British Columbia Fires Appeal. That means every dollar donated will become $3 to support the people affected by this fire season. You can donate in the following ways:


Thank you,



Friday, July 9, 2021


Moving Towards Universal Child Care:

The pandemic has shone a light on something we’ve known for a long time – that access to affordable, inclusive child care is not only good social policy, it’s also vital to our economy.
 
So far, our government has created thousands of affordable child care spaces across BC. Families are already feeling the benefits, with many parents saving up to $1,600 a month per child. Over the next three years, our government will be investing more than $2.5 billion in our Childcare BC plan.
 
We’ve established ourselves as a national leader in child care and we’re proud to be the first province to in Canada to sign an agreement to build a national low-cost child care system.
 
We’ve secured an investment of over $3 billion in our plan from the federal government. By working together, we’re making $10-a-day child care a reality for more families.
 
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, who often take on more child care responsibilities in families. By making child care more affordable and accessible, we’re allowing more women to make the choice to go back to work or go back to school to further their education.
 
We’re building an inclusive, universal child care system that will support our strong economic recovery, and benefit BC families for generations to come. Learn more here.

Sincerely,


Wednesday, July 7, 2021


Sending a HUGE thank you to all of BC’s firefighters! 

The hustle and drive of BC firefighters is unmatched, they’re facing some of the toughest challenges that BC has ever seen and risking their lives to keep us safe. 

Please do your part by respecting the campfire, firework, and open fire bans that are currently active across the province. 

As of July 7, 2021 there are 201 active fires. Please call 1-800-663-5555 (or *5555 on your cell) to report a wildfire. For updates please visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

Thank you,


Friday, July 2, 2021


As of yesterday, BC is in Step 3 of our Restart Plan. So far nearly 80% of British Columbians have had their first dose of the vaccine, and our declining case counts show us that vaccines are working.

We have been able to move to Step 3 because of our collective efforts and sacrifices. Thank you for everything you’ve done these past fifteen months to keep yourselves and our community safe.

I encourage you to visit this page for complete details about our Restart Plan and what Step 3 means for you and your family. Here are a few highlights of the new changes and what we can now safely do:

You can attend normal indoor and outdoor personal gatherings, including sleepovers.
Restaurants, bars, and pubs are no longer limited to 6 people per table.
Fitness classes can resume with normal capacity. 
Indoor and outdoor sports can have more spectators.
Travellers from across Canada are welcome.

Masks are recommended in public indoor settings for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. While masks are no longer mandatory, individual businesses and organizations may still choose to require masks in their spaces. Some people may still want to wear masks in many settings, and that’s ok. 

Step 3 brings us closer to normal, but the pandemic is not yet behind us. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, now is the time to do so. Remember to continue washing your hands, staying home when you’re feeling sick, and make sure to get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms. When socializing with friends and family, be mindful of everyone’s individual comfort level, and as always, be kind, be calm, and be safe.

Thank you,



Friday, June 25, 2021


We're in for a pretty serious heat wave starting today and lasting until Tuesday. Please follow these tips to help you and your family stay safe this weekend

1) Don’t leave children or pets alone in a parked car- even if you crack the window the inside of your car will not remain at a safe temperature.

2) Drink lots of water!

3) Keep cool. Stick to air-conditioned buildings when possible or try a cold bath or shower to cool off.
4) Plan activities for before 10AM and after 4PM.

5) Wear plenty of sunscreen and reapply often!

6) Check on children, older adults, and those unable to leave their homes for signs of heat-related illness.

Learn more here.

Thank you,




Tuesday, June 22, 2021



Happy Pride Everyone!

For those of you that don’t know, the month of June is Pride month! Pride didn’t begin as a parade or as Victoria’s annual Big Gay Dog Walk, it began as a protest led by trans women of colour. Over the decades, members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community fought together to win the basic human rights and freedoms that so many others take for granted. Many folks in BC and across the globe are continuing this fight today.

2SLGBTQ+ people continue to face stigma and discrimination, and as a result face higher rates of violence, poverty, and mental health struggles. For people of colour in the community these issues can be even more complex and difficult. Nobody should ever be the target of violence or oppression because of who they love or who they are.

Our government continues to work hard to advance the rights and freedoms for all of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Here are examples of some of the actions we've taken so far:

  • Flew the Trans flag at the BC legislature for the first time in history.
  • Re-established BC’s human rights commission, which had been dismantled in 2002.
  • Included ‘X’ as a third option in the gender field on government-issued ID, allowing us to more accurately represent the spectrum of gender identity.
  • Moved to ensure that publicly funded, gender affirming lower surgeries are available in BC.
  • Ensured that all 60 school districts are part of the BC SOGI Educator Network to help schools be more inclusive for students.
  • Expanded coverage for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to ensure people at risk of contracting HIV in B.C. are benefiting from preventative treatment.

I'm proud to be part of a government that has worked to be an ally to the 2SLGBTQ+ community. This year, Victoria Pride is taking place June 28th – July 4th. I encourage folks to visit victoriapridesociety.org to learn about Pride events happening this year and how you can participate.

Sincerely,