Tuesday, March 2, 2021

 People are invited to comment on proposed safety improvements to the Patricia Bay Highway (Highway 17) northbound at Keating Cross Road.

Comments can be made on the proposed project until March 24, 2021.

Every hour, hundreds of drivers need to turn left across heavy traffic on Highway 17 to get onto Keating Cross Road, causing safety issues and traffic bottlenecks. As well, with projected population growth and planned industrial and commercial development in the area, traffic congestion is expected to increase.

To address these challenges, government is proposing a new "flyover" overpass from the Pat Bay Highway northbound to Keating Cross Road westbound, eliminating the left turn across highway traffic onto Keating Cross Road. The project will also include a realigned southbound on-ramp to the Pat Bay highway.

The project design will support future plans for bus rapid transit on the Pat Bay Highway.

Pedestrians and those who travel with the help of a mobility aid will benefit from new sidewalks on Keating Cross Road. These proposed design elements will make active transportation safer and easier for people in their daily lives.

The proposed flyover overpass project and associated upgrades will allow people to travel this busy corridor more safely and efficiently, while helping to promote regional economic growth.

The South Island Transportation Strategy, released by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in September 2020, identified advancing work on the Keating Cross Road/Highway 17 project as a priority to improve safety and reliability.

A detailed discussion guide and story map for the Highway 17 Keating Flyover Project is available online.

To learn more about the proposed improvements and submit feedback via the project website, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-17-keating-cross-overpass.

The ministry will use the input received during this public engagement, as well as the input provided by stakeholders in meetings, to finalize its business case for the project.

The Government of Canada has committed more than $16 million to this project through the New Building Canada Fund, Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component—National and Regional Projects. The District of Central Saanich will contribute $2.5 million. The provincial government will finalize its investment for the project following the business case review.

Engineering work is taking place and people can expect to see workers on site.

Learn More:

For the discussion guide and online feedback form, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-17-keating-cross-overpass

For more information on federal infrastructure funding, visit: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca



Thursday, February 25, 2021

 

As we look towards our recovery from the pandemic, we have an opportunity to build our province back better. We must make sure our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. We need to ensure that the care and services that people count on are available when and where they need them. And our recovery must support our climate action goals, in line with our CleanBC strategy.

 

I want to share with you a few of the actions our New Democrat government took this week:

 

This week we announced that more than 100 new publicly funded spaces will be available in addiction treatment and recovery programs. The overdose crisis has impacted every community across B.C., and we have more to do to support people who are struggling with substance use issues. These new spaces will allow more people to start their path to recovery and get the care they need in a safe and supportive environment.

 

Part of our StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan is investing in training and education programs so people can upskill or reskill to take advantage of high-demand jobs. In recent days our government announced over $20 million for programs that will help people get the skills they need, including short-term skills training in areas like technology, manufacturing, hospitality, horticulture, and automotive trades. We also announced new micro-credentials at 15 of B.C.’s post-secondary institutions, allowing people to quickly gain qualifications or improve their skills in fields like health and human services, construction maintenance, and climate action.

 

Keeping our water and coastline clean helps make our communities stronger and more resilient. This week we announced that over 127 tonnes of plastic, garbage, and fishing gear have been removed from B.C. shorelines as part of our Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative. Through this effort we provided employment to 180 people, including Indigenous people and those in the tourism sector, who have been particularly impacted by the pandemic. We also recently announced an additional $9.5 million in funding for more projects like this in 2021.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021



I am pleased to share two exciting updates with you about how our government is making ICBC better.


Enhanced Care

Last week, we launched a new online tool that will give you an estimate of how much money you will save when you renew your car insurance under the new Enhanced Care model that comes into effect on May 1, 2021.
On average, people will save about 20% on their premiums the next time they renew.
The new Enhanced Care model is designed to work for British Columbians. That means your car insurance will be more affordable, and it will provide significantly better care and benefits if you are hurt in a crash. We are making this possible by removing many of the legal costs that are associated with our current system.
I encourage you to check out enhancedcare.icbc.com to see how much you could save – you just need your driver’s licence and licence plate number to log in.

Pandemic savings

With far fewer people on the road during the pandemic, we’ve also had fewer crashes in B.C.
This means that ICBC actually saved money this year, about $600 million overall. And because your insurance should work for you, we are giving those savings back to you with one-time rebates.
Most customers who had an active policy from April 1 to September 30, 2020 will be receiving a rebate. The average person will receive about $190 back, depending on the type of policy you have and how much you paid. Rebate cheques will be mailed out starting in mid-March.

Our New Democrat government is committed to making life more affordable. As we plan our economic recovery from COVID-19, we are building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top. 






Thursday, February 18, 2021


The BC government is introducing enhancements to the Small and Medium-Sized Business Grant Program.  As our healthcare and essential workers continue their critical work in the fight against Covid-19, the B.C. government has continued to make the health of local businesses a top priority. These unprecedented times have been difficult, especially on South Vancouver Island, where homegrown companies and the tourism sector are the backbone of our local economy. Rest assured: we have been listening. Through continued consultation, we have heard the voices of local business leaders and stakeholders and the government has introduced enhancements to the Small and Medium-Sized Business Grant Program. 

We are pleased to announce that we have made several changes to the program to help more businesses get help more quickly. We are reaching out to let you know about these changes, so you can determine if your business would like to apply, or so you can help get the word out in our business community. Program funds are provided through grants, not loans, and come with no strings attached. 
Overall, the changes have simplified the application process and streamlined criteria. Businesses that have already submitted applications do not have to reapply, and their applications will be reviewed under the revised criteria. 

The program is already providing targeted financial support for some of the hardest hit businesses in B.C. The program runs until March 31st, 2021, or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first.  
More information, including the online application, can be found online at  www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant. 

B.C. entered the pandemic as an economic leader in Canada, and we are committed to supporting small businesses to reopen, adapt, hire, and grow. We thank you for your hard work and perseverance through these difficult times and we hope this program may be of assistance to you. 

Best,


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The British Columbia Multiculturalism and Anti-racism Awards honour exceptional individuals and organizations that promote multiculturalism and address racism.

Nominate a person or organization that’s making a difference in your community! 

Nomination categories:

Intercultural Trust Awards (2 awards) 
Provided to an outstanding individual or non-profit, business or public sector organization for their work in building intercultural trust and understanding and/or reducing racism and hate between communities.

Breaking Barriers Award (2 awards) 
Provided to an outstanding individual or non-profit, business or public sector organization for their work in tackling systemic or institutional racism and reducing barriers for communities that experience marginalization.

Emerging Leader Award (1 award) 
Provided to an outstanding youth/young adult, age 15-30, for their work in building intercultural trust, tackling racism or reducing barriers for communities that experience marginalization. Award provided with a $5,000 grant to be given to a non-profit organization of the youth’s choice.

Find out more information or nominate someone here! 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

This coming week marks the official start for Chinese New Year! The pandemic will stop us from celebrating this year as we have done so many years now. No parade, no official gathering for dinner...but there is plenty to celebrate as we welcome the Year of the Ox! In the Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture and for its positive characteristics, such as being hardworking and honest. 🧧 Is the Year of the Ox your year? Years of the Ox include 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021! This collection of photos from over a decade brings back so many fond memories. Happy Chinese New Year and Happy Lunar New Year my friends!


Tuesday, February 2, 2021


You are invited to comment on proposed safety improvements to the Patricia Bay Highway (Highway 17) northbound at Keating Cross Road.

Comments can be made on the proposed project until March 24, 2021.

Every hour, hundreds of drivers need to turn left across heavy traffic on Highway 17 to get onto Keating Cross Road, causing safety issues and traffic bottlenecks. As well, with projected population growth and planned industrial and commercial development in the area, traffic congestion is expected to increase.

To address these challenges, government is proposing a new "flyover" overpass from the Pat Bay Highway northbound to Keating Cross Road westbound, eliminating the left turn across highway traffic onto Keating Cross Road. The project will also include a realigned southbound on-ramp to the Pat Bay highway.

The project design will support future plans for bus rapid transit on the Pat Bay Highway.

Pedestrians and those who travel with the help of a mobility aid will benefit from new sidewalks on Keating Cross Road. These proposed design elements will make active transportation safer and easier for people in their daily lives.

The proposed flyover overpass project and associated upgrades will allow people to travel this busy corridor more safely and efficiently, while helping to promote regional economic growth.

The South Island Transportation Strategy, released by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in September 2020, identified advancing work on the Keating Cross Road/Highway 17 project as a priority to improve safety and reliability.

A detailed discussion guide and story map for the Highway 17 Keating Flyover Project is available online.

To learn more about the proposed improvements and submit feedback via the project website, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-17-keating-cross-overpass.

The ministry will use the input received during this public engagement, as well as the input provided by stakeholders in meetings, to finalize its business case for the project.

The Government of Canada has committed more than $16 million to this project through the New Building Canada Fund, Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component—National and Regional Projects. The District of Central Saanich will contribute $2.5 million. The provincial government will finalize its investment for the project following the business case review.

Engineering work is taking place and people can expect to see workers on site.

Learn More:

For the discussion guide and online feedback form, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-17-keating-cross-overpass

For more information on federal infrastructure funding, visit: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca



Tuesday, December 22, 2020


During the holidays my community office will be closed from Wednesday December 23rd and will re open on Monday January 11th. We will have new office hours beginning January, and will be open Monday to Friday 9am-4pm. 

If you need assistance with Government Agencies please call 1-800-663-7867. 

 As we celebrate differently this year, I wanted to share my favourite holiday appetizer with #buybc ingredients.

 Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Squash with Cinnamon, Pecans and Cranberries

3 cups Brussels sprouts ends trimmed; yellow leaves removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon Salt to taste

1 1/2 lb butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch

3 tablespoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups pecan halves

1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Lightly grease the foil-lined baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt (to taste), and toss to combine. In another bowl, combine cubed butternut squash (peeled and seeded),1 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon, and toss to mix. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down, and roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, and add pecans- be careful they burn quickly! Finish by combining all the Brussel sprouts, squash, pecans and cranberries in a bowl- add maple syrup to taste!




Wednesday, December 16, 2020

COVID-19 remains with us in BC and on the island- however there is light at the end the tunnel. On Dec. 8th our government announced that applications for the COVID-19 Recovery Benefit will be opening on December 18. This benefit will be $1,000 for families with a household income of less than $125,000, and $500 for individuals who earn less than $62,000. Approximately 3.7 million British Columbians will benefit from this funding, and many will be able to receive it before the end of the year. You can learn more on how to apply at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/recovery-benefit.

Earlier this week the first person in B.C. received the vaccine. This is a huge step in our continued fight against COVID-19. The first round of 4,000 vaccines are being administered to Lower Mainland frontline healthcare workers. More vaccines will continue to arrive each week in increasing quantities and will be expanded to other populations across B.C. in a priority sequence. Everyone in B.C. will have the opportunity to get the vaccine by the end of 2021, free of charge. Find out more here- https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0065-002035!

While we enjoy the holiday season and await more vaccines in January and throughout 2021, we need to heed the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry:

• No social gatherings with people outside of your immediate household (this includes outdoor gatherings)
 • Wear a mask in indoor public places 
 • Non-essential travel is prohibited 
 • Wash your hands frequently
 • Stay home and self-isolate whenever you feel sick – even if your symptoms are mild 

Remember this is not forever, it is for now.

As always, if you have any questions or need any assistance with provincial supports, please reach out. My office is currently open via phone and email to support you. You can reach us at 250-479-4154 or Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Be safe, and be kind,










COVID Resources:

For medical info, visit bccdc.ca or call 811

For provincial supports and BC’s Restart Plan, visit gov.bc.ca/covid19, call 1-888-COVID-19 (1-888-268-4319) or text 604-630-0300

For employer guidelines on returning to work safely, visit WorkSafeBC

For seniors looking for additional support, or for those looking to support seniors, call 2-1-1 or visit bc211.ca

Tuesday, December 1, 2020


Today I was very happy to make some announcements to support food security in BC! We are working hard to improve food security, build a stronger food system and stronger economy.

1. We have increased funding for environmental management on BC farms by 1.6 million. 250 more farms will be able to strengthen their environmental plans. Increased funding for farm projects that protect our air, land and water helping us to a #StrongerBC ! #GrowBC #BuyBC #CleanBC https://news.gov.bc.ca/23338

2. We are making it easier to get a farm growing! We have a new program that supports small farm infrastructure, equipment and business coaching opens Dec 7. #GrowBC #StrongerBC #BuyBC https://news.gov.bc.ca/23338

3. More BC raspberries are never a bad idea! New Raspberry Replant Program helps growers plant better varieties for BC. Can’t wait for 2021 season. #GrowBC #StrongerBC #Yum! #BuyBC https://news.gov.bc.ca/23338

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Thank you and Office Opening!

Dear Constituents of Saanich South,


Thank you to everyone for taking the time to vote. It is an honour and a privilege to represent Saanich South in the B.C. Legislature, and I am grateful to continue to work for you for the next four years.
I will not be sworn in until Nov. 24th, however I can be reached at lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.
As always, please contact my office if you require assistance with programmes or agencies of the B.C. provincial government. My Constituency Office is located at 4243 Glanford Ave #260, and we are open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9:00am -4:00 pm. Or give us a call at 250 479 4154. Warmly,


Bee Art Gallery!

Virtual Bee Art Show! I am excited to present these bee-autiful art pieces that were submitted by local artists all over Saanich South. Thank you so much everyone for participating- our office is so much brighter! See the Art Gallery here!

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


Our office is back open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9am-4pm!

 Unfortunately, we are having some technical issues with our email and phone services, and they are currently down. The Legislative Assembly is working to resolve this issue. We apologize for the inconvenience & hope to connect with you soon.




Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Website temporarily closed

 Dear Saanich South,


On September 21 2020 the Lieutenant Governor issued a "writ of election", dissolving the Legislative Assembly of BC and beginning an election regulated by Elections BC.

During this period I am no longer be an MLA and cannot do any work as an MLA. The Constituency Office will therefore be very limited in what it can do and this website will not be updated.

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 Maureen Rogers  at maureen.rogers@leg.bc.ca or leave a voicemail message at 250 479 4154.

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.

I hope you will participate in the democratic process! Elections BC is doing a great job to make it safe and convenient to vote. 

For all the details on how to vote, please visit elections.bc.ca

It has been a privilege to serve as your MLA since 2009. 

Lana

Lana Popham

Tuesday, September 1, 2020


One of my favourite events of the summer is Greek Fest. Smiling, happy people having fun, amazing music, talented colourful dancers, a connection to a rich culture, community and incredible food – it’s got it all! And I’m not alone in loving this. More than 20,000 people attended last year! So, when I heard that Greek Fest 2020 was on – I was thrilled! It is different this year – but much of the core components are there.

A group of determined organizers along with a very supportive community and almost 30 sponsors have managed to adapt and innovate to offer at least some of the popular festival – the food and the smiling happy people – in a safe and delicious way! 

You just can’t keep Victoria’s Greek community down!

Working with Island Health, Greek Fest organizers have created a system that’s safe and respectful for everyone – staff and fest-goers alike. Their amazing menu is online with instructions for ordering and pick-up, and their safety plan – masked staff, frequent hand-washing, and well-organized festival visitors that remain in their cars when they pick-up their orders. The annual two-weekend event has just finished its inaugural weekend and it’s back for more next weekend!

In a year where finding connection and celebration is a little trickier than we’re used to, Greek Fest organizers have outdone themselves. They have created an opportunity to enjoy great Greek food and be together in spirit – and help fundraise for good causes. Funds raised in this 19th year of the festival will go to hot lunch programs for students in Greater Victoria and a sandwich program for those experiencing homelessness, as well as language, dance and cooking classes at the community centre.

Weekend two of the festival runs this weekend – Friday to Monday, 12 to 8 pm daily (September 4-7). Go online to order at www.GreekFest.ca and then head over to 4648 Elk Lake Drive (by Saanich Commonwealth Place) at your designated pick-up time and enjoy your feast! 






PS - For all those that love Greek heritage – the Greek Heritage Project Museum is open for half-hour visits – by reservation only. This wonderful cultural centre offers a chance to see hundreds of artifacts sharing the history and genealogy of Greek immigrants to Vancouver Island. The museum is open Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – by pre-registration only. Email greekhpm@gmail.com  to book 1/2 hour museum visits.


Monday, August 31, 2020

Bat Pups in Saanich South!



I’m not going to lie – I love bats! I find them adorable, and the fact that they voraciously eat mosquitos (not a love of mine), makes them even better!

And this year has been the best year for bat sightings in a very long time. My back deck looks out into a wooded area and it’s such a joy to see them flutter in and out of the trees as they dine in the evening.

Are you noticing more bats around your house or property too? Apparently, you’re not alone!

Mid to late summer is the time when people typically notice more bat activity. You may have bats flying into your house, occasionally find a bat on the ground (don’t touch it!) or roosting in unusual locations.

Our friends at the BC Community Bat Program have just sent out a press-release alerting us that this is a great year for bat sightings – and NOT to worry if they seem to be flying erratically. Because they are babies!!!

Ronna Woudstra, regional coordinator with the southern Vancouver Island and southern Gulf Islands Community Bat Program says that she is currently receiving a large increase in calls about bats behaving strangely. In truth it is just that the baby bats are learning to fly and it takes a while to get the hang of it.

Ronna explains that female bats gather in maternity colonies in early summer, where they will remain until the pups are ready to fly. Pups are usually born in late June, learn to fly in July and August, and then move out in late summer. I’ve included a ‘bat calendar’ below.

Some species of bats have adapted to live in human structures, and they may make their homes in eaves or siding, in attics, sheds, or other buildings. Many people love having them around for the natural insect control. Others may not be as keen. Please know that under the BC Wildlife Act it is illegal to exterminate or harm bats.

But if they end up in your home by accident – don’t panic.

If you find a bat, alive or dead, NEVER touch it with your bare hands. Bats in BC have very low levels of rabies infection, but any risk of transmission must not be taken lightly. Contact Public Health, Health Link 811, a doctor or veterinarian if a person or pet could have come into direct contact (bitten, scratched etc.) with a bat. Visit the Got Bats? BC Community Bat Program’s website www.bcbats.ca for information on safely moving a single bat if necessary.

If you find a stray bat in a safe location outside, out of the way of people and pets, you can leave them alone they will move off on their own within days.

People that feel like their health is at risk will often do desperate things, and with their safety and the lives of the bats in mind, Ronna is hoping to spread the message of “don’t panic and don’t touch” as far as possible. So let your friends or family know that baby bats are out and about and not to worry – or harm them. If you’re not keen on the little critters – try and wait until September and October to do any bat exclusion work on your home.

You can find guidance on timing and methods through the BC Community Bat Project website at www.bcbats.ca . Download the “Managing Bats in Buildings” booklet, or contact your local Community Bat Program at bat@hat.bc.ca or call 1-855-9BC-BATS ex. 12

The BC Community Bat Program is funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Forest Enhancement Society of BC, the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk, the Government of BC and private donors.





Monday, August 17, 2020

4-H BC - Growing BC Farmers & Leaders!



I know the past few months have been especially challenging for young people, but thanks to the creativity of 4-H BC, their camp program has been adapted so youth can safely learn about B.C. agriculture.  

As BC’s Minister of Agriculture, and the MLA for Saanich South, I am so proud to support 4-H BC and the young people of our community in becoming our future agriculture and community leaders. Our commitment helps ensure that agriculture learning is accessible to all youth throughout B.C. 

Last month, a small group of 4-H British Columbia teen members gathered at the Saanich Fairgrounds to learn more about B.C. agriculture through the Food for Thought agriculture awareness day-camp program, delivered by 4-H BC. 

Due to COVID-19, 4-H BC is adapting its Food for Thought conference into a series of six one-day agriculture awareness programs for 4-H members who are age 14 to 15 years. They’re offering virtual farm tours and agriculture presentations for small groups this summer in Abbotsford, Rock Creek, Kamloops, Williams Lake, Vanderhoof - and here in Saanich! 

Over the next year, the B.C. government is committing $153,000 to 4-H BC to support the club and their programming including youth farm safety and outreach program that supports underrepresented groups, and fun Buy BC 4-H BC Instagram contest that encourages 4-H members to celebrate B.C. products on social media. 

During the pandemic, my ministry’s youth development staff have been working with 4-H club leadership, members and volunteers providing them with guidance in organizational management, agriculture and community leadership education. My youth development team recently supported 4-H BC in adapting existing youth and volunteer programs to virtual formats, in developing the new 4-H @ Home project and in creating a new gardening-basics video series for at home gardeners. 

This past Spring I was thrilled to announce $50,000 for the Field to Fork Challenge. This fun contest asks the 4-H members to create and submit videos of themselves preparing a recipe highlighting a B.C. ingredient, such as produce, meat, dairy, grain or honey. The videos will include information about how the ingredient was farmed, raised or processed and how it can be used in culinary creations.  

The winners from two categories, junior and senior, will be awarded cash prizes. Winners from the senior category will also go to Vancouver to attend the Field to Fork Challenge Weekend, along with some special guest participants from the Agriculture in the Classroom Take a Bite of BC program. The trip includes four days of touring farms, meetings chefs, participating in a cooking challenge and spending a day at the next Every Chef Needs a Farmer, Every Farmer Needs a Chef event, giving them an opportunity to interact with leading chefs and farmers from around the province. 

4-H BC Junior & Senior Members entry deadline is August 31st, 2020 and the BC AITC Take a Bite of BC Students contest closes September 30th, 2020. 

I’m looking forward to sharing some of the videos on Facebook/Twitter and Instagram when they come in. It thrills me to no-end when we can support our youth in developing passions around food and agriculture.  

What a great investment in the future of BC!