Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Affordable Childcare

Childcare is one of the biggest bills many families face each month, and with global inflation driving up the cost of living, things are especially tough for families right now. That's why, with support from the federal government, we're making childcare more affordable by giving money directly to service providers and saving families up to $550 per child per month. 

Starting in December, more funding will go directly to participating licensed childcare centres to give parents and guardians of children who are kindergarten age or younger a break by putting money back in their pockets through reduced fees. Since the money is going directly to service providers, families will not need to apply for these savings. This announcement is building on further reduced fees as a part of the province’s $2.7-billion investment in ChildCareBC since 2018, and is being funded through the five-year, $3.2-billion Canada-British Columbia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. When combined with past reductions at participating centres, that means that families could save up to $10,800 per year for each child. Learn more here.

Affordable childcare is a key priority for our government because we know that when childcare is accessible, parents can succeed. Funding like this allows more parents, especially women or other people from marginalized genders, to pursue work, school, or passions outside of caregiving and to contribute to British Columbia's economy. When all British Columbian's have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, we are at our best. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Community Office Update

My community office will be closing for a brief summer break starting on August 22nd. My office will reopen after Labour Day on Tuesday September 6th at 9:00AM. If you need assistance, you can leave a voicemail at 250-479-4154 or an email at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca and we will respond to inquiries in the order they were received.

Should you require assistance sooner than that, here are a few helpful resources:
  • If you need assistance with Government agencies, please call 1-604-660-2421. 
  • The latest news from the B.C. government can be found on the news website at https://news.gov.bc.ca/ 
  • Call 2-1-1 for assistance with community, government, and health services.
  • Call 250-387-1023 or email AF.Minister@gov.bc.ca for help with issues related to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.


Thursday, August 11, 2022

Building an Equitable BC

There is no doubt that BC’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Living with people from all walks of life teaches us how to better empathize and cooperate with each other. Despite this, some groups are still more likely to face disadvantages, discrimination, and prejudice. During the pandemic, we saw that low-wage workers, seniors, and racialized people were more likely to be impacted by COVID-19. And just this week, Statistics Canada reported that there was an increase in police-reported hate crimes in 2021. There is clearly still more work to do make BC more equitable.
Our government has taken steps to build equity into all aspects of our systems. We recently introduced the Anti-Racism Data Act to identify systemic barriers faced by Indigenous people, Black people and people of colour so that we can make government programs and services work better for more people. This year, we also released the Declaration Act Action Plan which outlines 89 specific actions every ministry in government will take to create a better province for Indigenous Peoples in BC .
These are just some of the larger examples, but work to make BC more equitable is happening in every Ministry. This week, we announced a new anti-racism training program:
More people throughout B.C. will now be able to receive free training on how to help defuse racist incidents through the new Anti-Racism Community Stewards pilot program. This unique program will teach people to deliver bystander intervention training – so they can teach others in their community to address racist incidents. For more information, visit vircs.bc.ca/lcrcprogram 



Thursday, August 4, 2022

New South Island Post-Secondary Campus

Did you hear that BC is investing $77.8 million into the construction of a new post-secondary campus on the Westshore?

The new campus is a collaboration between Royal Roads University, the University of Victoria, Camosun College, and the Justice Institute of BC and will support flexible programming, accessible infrastructure, and students in the Westshore and across the South Island.

You can learn more here.


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Preparing for Extreme Heat


This week Environment and Climate Change Canada issued heat warnings across BC, including the South Island, due to rising temperatures. We encourage everyone to plan and prepare for high temperatures.

Preparing for high temperatures: 
  • You can find information about cooling centres across the South Island here.    
    • Checking with your municipality, regional district, or First Nation is also a good way to find the most up to date information on cooling centres.
  • Know the warning signs of heat-related illness. If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms during extreme heat, take immediate steps to cool down and seek emergency care. Symptoms can include:
    • Nausea or vomiting,
    • Headaches,
    • Dizziness,
    • Rapid breathing or increased heartrate, and
    • Feeling very thirsty or having dark urine
  • Create a heat plan to keep safe
    • Identify cool zones inside and outside of homes (such as community centres and libraries), 
    • Find ways to cool down (such as taking cool baths or showers and drinking plenty of water), and 
    • Identify vulnerable family members and neighbours who are susceptible to heat and who should be checked on.
Making it easier for evacuees to receive support:

Last year’s extreme weather events made it clear how important it is to be prepared for a potential crisis. One day you may need to evacuate due to an emergency, whether it's flood, fire or earthquake. This week, we announced that we are making it easier to receive evacuee financial support – because the last thing you need in an emergency is more paperwork. You can now pre-register to receive financial support by e-transfer so when you need it and are eligible to receive it, you can get it quickly and easily. Here’s how:

Thursday, July 21, 2022

July is Lakes Appreciation Month!

Did you know that July is Lakes Appreciation Month? Thank you to the BC Lake Stewardship Society and all the other non-profits, Indigenous Nations, communities, and individuals who have helped contribute to a better understanding of lake ecology in BC!

Did you also know that Elk/Beaver Lake is getting a new oxygenation system to help make the lakes cleaner and safer for people and pets?

What's your favourite lake in BC?


Thursday, July 14, 2022

International Non-Binary People's Day

Happy #InternationalNonBinaryPeoplesDay to all the non-binary folks in Saanich South and across BC! Thank you for being your authentic self and expressing who you are!

Folks that are unsure what "non-binary" means should consider checking out this article


Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Additional Booster Doses Coming This Fall

B.C. is making plans to offer everyone 12+ a fall booster dose. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has been clear this approach will provide the best protection in the fall and winter when we’re all spending more time inside and respiratory illness is passed around our communities.  

Starting in the Fall eligible residents will be invited to book their second booster. Bookings will happen the same way your first two doses and booster were booked. Click here to learn more.


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Thank You Premier Horgan!

As you may have heard, Premier John Horgan announced that he will not be running again in the next election. He will be staying on as Premier until the next Leader of the BCNDP is chosen. 
I wish Premier Horgan all the best. He gave me the chance to do what I love as Minister of Agriculture, and he also gave me the gift of friendship. This is a difficult moment but I support his decision.

There is no doubt that Premier Horgan will be remembered as a leader who prioritized people. He brought us together and improved the lives of people across BC. He put science first throughout the pandemic, eliminated MSP fees, lowered ICBC premiums, created new child care spaces and lowered fees, and built a record amount of housing while taxing greedy speculators. He also took big money out of BC politics and took truly historic steps with Indigenous Peoples towards the path of reconciliation.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, devastating forest fires, unprecedented floods, and his second bout of cancer, John always put the needs of British Columbians first.
John is a great coach and has built a strong team that will continue the work to make life better for British Columbians. In the months ahead there will be an exciting leadership race, focused on the best ideas for the future of BC. Until then, John remains Premier and will continue to serve the people of our province. This includes pushing the federal government to fund their fair share of health-care costs so we can make our public health-care system work better for everyone.

Our entire caucus is united in our determination to make life better for the people of British Columbia. There is much more to do and we remain focused on putting people first.

Thank you,

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Pride 2022


We’re flying the Pride flag at the Legislature!

2SLGBTQIA+ folks continue to face violence and discrimination and it’s vital that we work against that hatred. Everyone deserves the freedom to love and to be who they are.

Our government is working hard to advance the rights and freedoms for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. That’s why we took action to ensure the spectrum of gender identity is included on B.C. government ID, or why we ensured that people can change their gender designations on their BC Services Card, BC Driver’s Licence and BCID without the confirmation of a physician or psychologist. It’s why we moved to ensure publicly funded, affirming lower surgeries are available in B.C., and why we expanded coverage of preventative treatment for people at-risk of contracting HIV. These are just some of the steps we’ve taken to build a BC where people are truly free to be who they are.

This year, BC communities like Armstrong, 100 Mile House, Vanderhoof, and Lillooet are hosting Pride parades for the first time ever! Pride Week in Victoria also starts today; click here to checkout some of the wonderful events that are happening in our community!

Pride is a reminder of how far we’ve come and of how far we have to go. Just last weekend, Cafe Fantastico in Quadra Village had to cancel a drag show because of threats of violence. We all must stand with the 2SLGBTQIA+ against these vile acts of hatred. A more inclusive society leads to a higher quality of life for everyone, and I hope you can join me in standing against bigotry and hate.


Thursday, June 9, 2022

Sumer BBQ

Please join me this Saturday June 11th from 11:00AM - 2:00PM for our Summer BBQ and Open House! 

In addition to hamburgers and hot dogs, we'll have ice cream, a drop off shredding service, bicycle check-ups, a bouncy castle, and more! All of which will be free! 

The BBQ will be happening at 4243 Glanford Avenue in our parking lot. Some spaces will remain open for parking, but we are also walking distance from the 6 and 31 bus routes. 

Please feel free to come down, say hello, and enjoy our BBQ! I look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you,

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Minimum Wage Increase

Raising the minimum wage helps build a stronger province for everybody in BC, that's why we're raising the minimum wage to $15.65. Since 2018, we’ve been regularly increasing the minimum wage, which was $11.35 an hour when this work began. Close to 400,000 people have benefited from these increases, the majority of whom are women, immigrants and youth – people who bear the brunt of low-wage labour. Increasing the minimum wage helps tackle inequality and make life more affordable.

Under the BC Liberals, our minimum wage was among the lowest in Canada. Now, it's the highest of any province and our government is working to make sure workers don't get left behind


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Centre of the Universe is right here in our own backyard on the South Island, it’s the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory!

The access road and trails have been an important part of Saanich for cyclists and hikers, and I’m excited to share that after being closed due to covid the access road is now reopen! The vehicle gate will be open 9:15-5 and the pedestrian gate will be open 24/7. 

Community members are asked to be respectful of the area and that cyclists turn around at the first stop sign near the parking lot during working hours (7-5 on weekdays).

Thank you,

Tuesday, May 17, 2022


On International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, we are called to stand up to discrimination against the LGBTQ2+ community.
We need to support LGBTQ2S+ people in our schools, in our workplaces, and in our families. I believe we can build a BC where nobody faces discrimination or violence because of who they love or who they are.


Thursday, May 12, 2022

Established in 2011, The Moose Hide Campaign is an important national public awareness initiative that began in B.C. and the Province has been proud to support it.

Indigenous women, girls, two spirit people and children still face unacceptable levels of violence. Words need to be followed by actions. That’s why my colleagues and I support the Moose Hide Campaign which encourages men to be strong role models and hold themselves accountable to stop violence.

To learn more and commit to this important work, checkout the Moose Hide Campaign's website.

Also see these important resources:


Thursday, May 5, 2022

This week our government took action to address the systemic racism and colonial biases that hurt Indigenous Peoples and racialized people across B.C.
We introduced the Anti-Racism Data Act to use and share data safely to make government programs and services work better for more people. This legislation is the first of its kind in Canada to be co-developed with Indigenous partners. It was also developed with extensive engagement with racialized communities, with more than 13,000 British Columbians taking part .
Having data that shines a light on where inequities exist will help us drive change by:
  • Breaking down barriers for people to access programs:
    • If data shows racialized people are disproportionately not accessing a particular program – like rental assistance or a child care benefit – we can make changes so people can get fair access to the programs.
  • Ensuring racialized people aren’t disproportionately targeted:
    • This data will show where people are being disproportionately targeted by things like tickets and penalties so changes can be made to ensure they are being applied fairly and impartially.
  • Helping to identify specific barriers and improve programs and services so people feel safe and get the help they need:
    • For example, BC Housing recently started collecting demographic data to more accurately capture the number of people who are homeless across the province, with the intention of using this data to deliver supports and services where they are most needed.
Everyone has the right to equitable and safe access to the programs and supports they need to succeed. There is more work to do to dismantle systemic racism and bias in government programs and services and this legislation will help pave the way, so we can make BC better, for everyone.


Friday, April 29, 2022

People across BC are welcoming and always ready to pitch in for those in need. It’s who we are. Over the last two years, we’ve seen the power of people coming together to support each throughout the pandemic, floods, and forest fires.

I know many of you have been watching the events unfolding in Ukraine. Ukrainians who are escaping unimaginable violence are now arriving in BC and we are making sure that they receive the vital medical services and community support they need. 

As people from the Ukraine begin arriving, we understand that access to physicians, prescriptions, and mental health support is critical. Instead of the normal three-month waiting period for new arrivals, we are providing day-of-arrival MSP coverage for Ukrainians entering BC, to ensure that they can have access to immediate care.

Another important aspect of health and safety is community connection. This is why we have expanded the Service BC phone line to include United Way British Columbia’s bc211 service, a multilingual service that connects people to more than 15,500 free social supports, services and community programs throughout the province. British Columbians who would like to help can also access information and opportunities through this service. 

Additionally, we have also expanded access to free employment services and supports available through 102 WorkBC Centres, including skills training, employment counselling and access to our provincial job board. 

To help ease the transition for families and students, we have encouraged school districts to enroll K-12 students from Ukraine and to waive additional fees they might have for extracurricular activities, such as music or soccer camps. These are just some of the ways that we are supporting newly arrived Ukrainians to feel safe, supported, and connected as they navigate this challenging time. 

We are committed to working with our partners, including the federal government, to ensure that those fleeing conflict are welcomed to BC as efficiently as possible. 



Tuesday, April 26, 2022


We’re working to address the high demand for nurses in BC by making it easier for internationally educated nurses to work BC by consolidating the complicated, costly and lengthy application process. Right now, internationally educated nurses must go through multiple assessments and coordination with numerous organizations to put their skills to use.
That’s why we are moving towards a process that will remove financial and logistical barriers for internationally educated nurses wanting to work in B.C.’s healthcare system. We are funding bursaries so more people can afford the process and we are creating new positions who will help applicants navigate the system. And we are also launching a new marketing campaign to attract more internationally educated nurses to B.C. 

The high demand for healthcare workers is being felt across the world – and the pandemic has only intensified the strain. But we know how vital it is to find solutions so that more people can get the care they need, when they need it. By streamlining the pathway to employment, we will increase nurses and other healthcare workers in our province and ensure that British Columbians' healthcare needs are met sooner.

There is always more to do, but I am very proud of these initiatives that will help British Columbians access timely and high-quality care.


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter!

Copy the image above into a word document and print it for a fun colouring activity!


Thursday, April 14, 2022

I wanted to give you an update on old growth logging deferrals in BC. 
Our government’s new vision for forestry is one where we better care for our most ancient and rarest forests, First Nations are full partners in forest management, and communities and workers benefit from secure, innovative jobs for generations to come 
The Province and First Nations have now agreed to defer nearly 1.7 million hectares of old growth (which includes 1.05 million hectares of at-risk old growth). This is intended to create the time and space we need to develop a new, long-term approach to managing old growth that prioritizes ecosystem health and community resiliency. 
To put it in perspective that is equal to: 
  • Over 4,100 Stanley Parks 
  • More old growth than currently protected in the Great Bear Rainforest. 
Government previously implemented 11 deferrals in partnership with First Nations totaling nearly 200,000 hectares of old growth forest – including the Fairy Creek watershed. 
Over 80% of the 4.0 million hectares of most at-risk old growth in BC is not currently threatened by short-term logging. We know we are on the right track – old growth logging has decreased by 40% compared to five years ago. In 2020, it was only 0.3% of the 11.1 million hectares of old growth in BC. 
New capacity funding of up to $12.69 million over three years is available to support First Nations engagement on old growth. Budget 2022 provides an additional $185 million over three years for forestry worker and community support programs. 
The Old Growth Strategic Review included short-term, medium-term and long-term recommendations and suggested a 36-month timeline for implementation. We have been prioritizing our work on the 14 recommendations and have made significant progress on many of them already.  We are committed to implementing all of those recommendations and are working towards a new Old Growth Strategy for BC to be complete in 2023. We need to take the time to get this right. 
Our forests make B.C. one of the best places to live. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to better care for our old growth forests.  


Friday, April 8, 2022

Investing in transit infrastructure is a big part of building safe, liveable communities while also fighting climate change by encouraging active transit. This week, our government took significant steps to improve how we get around.
We brought forward legislation that will increase housing and services near transit hubs. People should be able to access the services they need close to home, and that’s why we introduced changes that will allow the province to acquire land near transit stations and bus exchanges, to build housing and other key community amenities. These changes will help shape growth around station sites, increase housing density and help create complete, connected communities that are close to transit.

We also announced funding to support our public transit systems as ridership levels recover from pandemic impacts. Alongside the federal government, we are providing $204 million to B.C.’s public transit systems, including $28 million for BC Transit. Reliable and affordable public transit is vital for strong communities, and this funding will go a long way towards maintaining these services that people count on.

And we are investing in projects to create more safe options for walking and cycling in rural, remote, and indigenous communities. A total of 37 local governments, Indigenous governments and other groups are receiving funding for projects that will improve road safety in their communities. Projects include crosswalks, traffic calming, walk signals that give a head start to pedestrians, speed reader boards, mixed use paths, and better lighting and signage. These things make it easier for people to chose active ways of getting around, which are healthier for both us and our environment.
The steps we took this week to increase housing near transit services, maintain B.C.’s strong transit systems, and improve safety for walkers and cyclists will help us make life better for everyone in B.C.