Tuesday, January 11, 2022


Last night, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix answered questions from British Columbians at a townhall-style meeting about covid-19 and how we're working to keep people safe. 

They answered questions about booster doses, keeping our children in schools safe, omicron, concerns surrounding the vaccines, and more. It was a very interesting meeting and I encourage everyone to give it a listen!

If you missed the original broadcast, you can watch it here.

Sincerely,

Friday, January 7, 2022


The new year brings hope and optimism with it despite the challenges ahead of us. While COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives and our communities, we are implementing science-based measures to get through the Omicron variant and put the pandemic behind us. 
 
We’ve accelerated our booster campaign and now over 960,000 people have received their booster shot. The most important thing we can all do is make sure to get your vaccines as soon as you are eligible. Like getting your second dose, everyone 18 and older will receive an email or text to book their booster at a location that works for them through our online system. Invitations for booster shots are being sent out approximately 6 months after someone received their second dose. If you’re not vaccinated yet you can register to get your vaccine through BC’s Get Vaccinated system.
 
Applications for the COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant will open soon. Businesses that have had to temporarily close due to the latest Provincial Health Officer orders can apply to receive up to $10,000 to help cover costs like rent, utilities, and wages.
 
As more and more British Columbians are receiving their booster shots, it is still important that we continue to use other layers of protection to keep each other safe, including wearing masks, decreasing social contacts, and staying home when we feel sick.
 
In 2022, let’s continue to support and care for one another as we look ahead to brighter days.

Sincerely,



Monday, December 13, 2021


Recovery efforts remain underway and work to repair damaged highways is still ongoing. Given the continued need for public safety measures under the Emergency Program Act the provincial State of Emergency has been extended until December 28th, 2021.

The order restricting non-essential travel on highways 3 and 99 remains in place. This includes Highway 3 from the junction with Highway 5 in Hope to the west entrance from the highway into Princeton and on Highway 99 the junction at Lillooet River Road to the BC Hydro Seton Lake Campsite access in Lillooet.

The order limiting the non-essential use of fuel will expire and no longer be in place at the end of the day on December 14th, 2021.

Additionally, Highway 11 in Abbotsford between Hazelwood Avenue and Clayburn Road is now open to commercial vehicle traffic to support the movement of goods and services between the Sumas border, Abbotsford, and Mission. However, both northbound lanes remain closed, and traffic is moving in the two southbound lanes using a single lane in each direction. Please drive with caution and continue to limit unnecessary travel in this area.

Flood recovery work is underway. Minister Bibeau, the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and I have been meeting with farmers to hear about how the recent events have impacted farm operations, families, and livelihoods. We will continue to work with farmers and communities who are feeling these harsh impacts to provide the necessary support for a strong recovery and plan for the future. 

Officials are urgently working to complete a joint assessment and help producers with their extraordinary costs. Programming under AgriRecovery will roll out as soon as those assessments and program design are completed.

For more information on the Ministry of Agriculture's response to flooding click here. You can also call the helpline at 1-833-376-2452 for information on emergency and agricultural supports, mental health supports, and more.

Sincerely,


Thursday, December 9, 2021


A strong winter storm is forecasted to impact many parts of BC starting tomorrow and lasting until Sunday. We are expecting to experience high winds and heavy rain- with colder parts of the province facing snow.

Here are a few tips on how to prepare:

  • Always wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Dressing in layers with a wind and water-resistant outer layer provides flexibility for changing conditions.
  • Severe weather can cause power outages. Be prepared for up to one week by developing a household emergency plan and putting together an emergency kit.
  • If you come across a downed or damaged power line, assume it is live and a danger. Stay back at least 10 metres (the length of a bus) and call 911 immediately to report.
  • Drive for the conditions. There are fewer daylight hours, and blowing snow and rain can further reduce visibility.
  • Exercise extra caution when driving on wet and icy roads.
  • Drivers should keep an emergency kit in their car consisting of warm clothes, winter footwear, food and water, a shovel, a flashlight, and a fully charged cell phone for emergency calls.
  • B.C.’s winter tire regulations are in effect, make sure to have the proper tires on your vehicle.
For information on how to put together an emergency kit, click here. For the most up to date weather alerts check with Environment Canada.

There are also new updates regarding highway repairs:
  • Essential travel restrictions on Highway 7 between Hope and Mission have been lifted, helping us return to normal travel activities.
  • Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Hope has been fully reopened with 2 separated lanes in each direction. Please limit your non-essential travel on this portion of the highway to help support the movement of goods and services
  • Highways 16, 29, and 97 will experience intermittent overnight closures between December 9th and 13th to ensure the safe transport of large commercial vehicles with and vehicles with oversized cargo.

For the most up to date information on road closures visit drivebc.ca

Sincerely,


Monday, December 6, 2021


Disaster Financial Assistance has been expanded for folks effected by the flooding and mudslides from November 14th to December 2nd and now includes residents on Vancouver Island as well as the northwest, southwest, central, and southeast regions of the province. 

Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) is available to homeowners, residential tenants, farmers, business owners, and charitable organizations who have suffered property damage for which insurance was not reasonably and readily available. Emergency Management BC will be accepting applications until March 3rd, 2022. If you have questions about DFA you can contact DFA@gov.bc.ca. 

In other news, over the weekend there were several updates regarding highway repairs, please see below.

  • The Malahat is now open to continuous two-way traffic for oversized vehicles,
  • Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet has reopened, and
  • Highway 11 in Abbotsford has reopened to single-lane traffic between Hazelwood Avenue and Clayburn Road for passenger and emergency vehicles.


For the latest updates on road conditions drivers should check drivebc.ca

Sincerely, 


Friday, December 3, 2021


Last night, I met with the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister Bibeau. Together, we hosted a roundtable with agricultural commodity groups from all sectors and regions across BC. This was one of many conversations we will be having with farmers, ranchers, producers and industry to listen to their concerns, needs and how we can best support them.

The federal and provincial governments have committed to work together, and are listening intently to farmers and producers so we can provide the support needed to help them get back on their feet and their farms back in production. This includes developing an AgriRecovery program that will be available in the weeks ahead, with its key focus on helping producers through the assessment, recovery and reconstruction phases, so we can get them working, and they can get back to producing the food that British Columbians count on.

Read more here.

Sincerely,


Thursday, December 2, 2021



I would like to provide you with some updates regarding highway closures and openings.
  • As of today, Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Hope will reopen. However, cleanup and repair efforts continue. Please do what you can to restrict your non-essential travel through the effected areas.
  • Unfortunately, due to a landslide Highway 99 has once again closed between Pemberton and Lillooet. No drivers were affected by the slide.
  • Finally, the Malahat will be subject to single-lane traffic overnight at parts of the highway where repairs are being done.

Sincerely,


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

 


Highway 99 between Pemberton and Lillooet has now reopened to essential travel after closing overnight due to weather conditions.

Sections of Highway 99 are very steep and narrow. As such, vehicles travelling on this highway must have a gross vehicle weight of less than 14,500 kilograms. Vehicles must also be equipped with winter tires.

Sincerely, 



Monday, November 29, 2021


With heavy rainfall in coastal and southwestern BC, our government has extended the provincial state of emergency and fuel order until the end of the day on December 14th, 2021.

Since this weekend, Highway 99 and Highway 3 have reopened to essential traffic. However, Highway 1 remains closed due to the threat of flooding. Highway 1 is closed between  McCallum Road (exit 90) and Yale Road (exit 109) as well as between just east of Hope all the way into the Popkum/Bridal Falls area. For the most up-to-date road conditions check drivebc.ca.

Additionally, we've setup a helpline for those who have been impacted by recent extreme weather events and flooding. For info about emergency and agricultural supports, mental health supports, essential travel, and more folks can call 1-833-376-2452. Folks are also welcome to contact my office at 250-479-4154 for my constituency office or 250-387-1023 for the Ministry of Agriculture.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, November 24, 2021



Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued weather alerts for a series of storms, strong winds, and snow in some areas in BC. Storms are expected to arrive later today and continue into next week.

Flood conditions may arise in the effected areas over the period of these storms. The River Forecast Centre has issued high streamflow advisories for all coastal regions. Please avoid non-essential travel during storms, and check-in on friends and family to make sure everyone is safe and prepared.

  • To read more click here.
  • For up-to-date weather alerts visit this website.
  • For tips on emergency preparedness here.

Sincerely,





Our government is working with the Red Cross to provide additional financial support for those who have been evacuated due to the flooding. 
Assistance will be provided by the Red Cross to those whose primary residence was put on evacuation order as a result of the November 14th - 16th flooding. 

Eligible households will receive $2,000. To access this funding call Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582 anytime between 8:00AM and 8:00PM Pacific time.

Read more here.

Sincerely,


Tuesday, November 23, 2021


Following a geotechnical assessment, Highway 3 has been deemed safe and reopened to essential travel. Monitoring is in place, and drivers should expect delays and single-lane alternating traffic on portions of the road.

Essential travel is defined as:
  • Commercial transporting for goods and supplies;
  • Transporting essential goods and supplies;
  • Transporting livestock, agricultural or seafood products or related supplies;
  • Traveling by agricultural producers, veterinarians and support personnel to provide care for animals;
  • Responding to emergencies or critical incidents, including incidents that involve search and rescue operations;
  •  Evacuating for medical reasons or transporting for urgent medical treatment;
  •  Highway and infrastructure repairing, maintenance and operation and related activities;
  •  Transporting essential personnel, including health care workers and emergency responders;
  •  Returning to a person’s own principal residence;
  •  Exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right as recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982; and
  • Media members travelling through a highway segment for purposes of reporting on the flooding and landslides
Read more here.

Sincerely,


Monday, November 22, 2021


Many in BC, especially farmers, are still in the middle of this disaster. We’re hearing what you need, our government and the federal government are with you and we are doing all we can to help you get back on your feet.

Here is some of the most up to date information from our government:


You can find further updates here or on the BC Government News website. You are also welcome to reach out to my office. For inquiries or help relating to the Ministry of Agriculture call 250-387-1023. For my constituency office call 250-479-4154.

Sincerely, 



Friday, November 19, 2021


The last few days have been difficult for many in B.C. We’ve seen incredible amounts of rainfall and wind that led to damaging floods and mudslides across much of our Province. My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.

We are working day and night to get people to safety and provide the support they need. Our government has declared a State of Emergency to mitigate impacts on transportation and support the provincewide response and recovery. We’ve requested federal assistance and Canadian Air Force assets are already operational, with more resources on the way. Emergency Support Services and Search and Rescue teams are providing emergency shelter, food and other supports to thousands of evacuees and stranded travellers. The B.C. Wildfire service has also been supporting efforts to rescue people and clear roads. The Ministry of Agriculture is working directly with farmers and farmers associations to help in any way possible, including using helicopters to drop containers with food and water for animals on farms that have been cut off.

I want to reassure everyone that our supplies of food and goods are secure. There may be temporary disruptions, but we are working quickly to re-route shipments through alternate routes to ensure people can get the essential supplies they need. You can play a role by shopping as you normally would and buying only what you need. Remember, your neighbours need supplies too.

I know the last few days have been devastating, but the most important thing we can all do right now is to remain calm and follow instructions from emergency personnel and experts. Right now, we are asking people not to travel for any non-essential reasons.

Here are some key links for the coming days:
  • Before travelling check road closures, re-openings, and the status of repairs at DriveBC.ca 
  • To donate funds or supplies to relief efforts, please contact donations@gov.bc.ca 
  • Disaster financial assistance is available for those affected by flooding. See more info here.
  • See all current evacuation orders, alerts, and list of reception centres at emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca
  • People who have evacuated and need assistance should register with Emergency SupportServices.

Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank all of the British Columbians who have stepped up during this incredibly difficult time to help each other, whether that was providing food and shelter to stranded strangers or bringing their neighbour’s farm animals to safety. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about any provincial issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help you. My constituency office can be reached at 250-479-4154 or Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca. My ministry office can be reached at 250-387-1023 or AGR.Minister@gov.bc.ca. 

Sincerely,



Wednesday, November 17, 2021


In response to the impacts of the recent extreme storm and flooding, we’ve declared a state of emergency. This will help us secure supply chains and make sure essential goods and emergency services can reach hard-hit communities.
 
Farmers, homeowners, tenants, small business owners, and charitable organizations who have suffered property damage can apply for Disaster Financial Assistance. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Disaster Financial Assistance Team at 1-888-257-4777 or DFA@gov.bc.ca.
 
Many highways and roads remain closed. Please avoid non-essential travel to the effected areas. The Malahat will be closed overnight from 6:00PM – 6:00AM, until the morning of the 23rd. West Saanich Road is also closed at multiple intersections due to erosion caused by the storm. You can check road conditions at drivebc.ca.
 
I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to everyone working hard throughout this disaster. To the emergency crews, to those doing roadwork, to small businesses stepping up, and to neighbours doing what they can to lend a helping hand, thank you all for your hard work and dedication to your community.
 
Sincerely
,


Friday, November 12, 2021


This week we announced an investment of $3 million for technology and trades equipment upgrades at 20 public post-secondary institutions across the province, including Camosun College’s Interurban campus! This will help set students up to excel in their careers by providing them with a high-quality learning environment where they can learn with industry-grade equipment. Funding will help Camosun replace obsolete equipment with modern technology to fit the wide range of programs they offer, including programs ranging from the culinary arts to civil engineering to plumbing!
 
Tech and skilled trades jobs offer interesting and rewarding career opportunities for workers, and contribute to B.C.’s economy in a big way - and they are in high demand. According to the 2019 Labour Market Outlook, 75,000 tech-related job openings, such as computer programmers, engineers and software designers, are expected in the 10-year period from 2019-29. In the trades, approximately 73,000 job openings are expected during the same time in occupations such as millwrighting, carpentry, construction and heavy-duty machinery.
 
We are improving access to training and education while supporting the sector with more home-grown talent. Every year, B.C. invests $99 million in trades education through the Industry Training Authority, and this year alone, they expect to fund more than 27,000 apprenticeship and foundation training seats. We’re also funding 2900 more tech spaces at post-secondary institutions.
 
We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of people entering tech and skilled trades professions in B.C. and we continue to encourage more people to consider this career path. Including by creating more opportunities for women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour to enter the trades.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, November 9, 2021


(From left to right: Mayor Haynes, Minister Popham, Darrell Wick, and Councilor Judy Brownoff).

Last week I was able to attend the official opening of the new bridge at PKOLS/Mount Douglas Park! The bridge crosses Douglas Creek and is a fantastic improvement to the existing trail network. Checkout the image below to see the location of the new bridge.


I would like to extend a huge thank you to Darrell Wick and all the folks at the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society who made this project happen!

Thank you,


Friday, November 5, 2021

 


Let’s get one thing clear:

Substance use and addiction should be treated as healthcare issues, not criminal issues.

All people deserve quality health care, and that’s why we have been working across our government to transform the way people access services. For people living with addiction or substance use issues, shame, fear and stigma can keep them from reaching out for the help they need. This week, B.C. applied for an exemption from Health Canada to remove criminal penalties for people who possess small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use. Substance use and addiction is a healthcare issue, not a criminal one. By decriminalizing people who use drugs, we can help reduce the shame and fear that prevents them from accessing treatment and support. You can learn more about this step here.

Decriminalization is just one part of our plan to build a stronger system of mental health and substance use care for people, no matter where they are in their journey. Since 2017, we’ve rapidly increased the number of treatment and recovery beds for youth and adults, and we’ve doubled the number of supervised consumption sites. We’ve also made large, systemic changes, including developing first-in-Canada solutions like nurse prescribing and safer supply. 

The previous government left British Columbians with an underfunded, patchwork system of care for people living with mental health and substance use challenges. Our government knows that every person in this province deserves high-quality care and that’s why we are taking action to ensure that services are available and accessible when and where people need them.  

Sincerely,



Tuesday, October 19, 2021


This week is Small Business Week in BC! 

Throughout the pandemic small businesses have worked hard to adapt, follow covid protocols, and make the BC Vaccine Card work. Let’s show them some extra appreciation this week! 

If you live in Saanich South, email my office by the end of this week and let us know what your favourite small business in Saanich South is for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to that business! The winner will be chosen via a random draw the following week.

Here's what you need to participate:
  • Email my office at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca by October 23rd and tell us what your favourite small business in Saanich South is!
  • You must live in Saanich South, so please include your postal code in your submission. The small business you choose must also be in Saanich South.
What is a small business? A small business is a business with fewer than 50 employees!

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I’m looking forward to hearing about all of your favourite small businesses!

Sincerely,



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,