Tuesday, December 13, 2011

14th Annual Terry van Fleet Memorial Christmas Lights Bike Rid

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

A perennial family favourite!

Join the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition on a new night route, viewing colourful Christmas lights displays in the Saanich area. The ride begins and ends at the Victoria First Church of the Nazarene (4277 Quadra Street near Chatterton Way) with free refreshments and door prizes following the ride!

Registration begins at 6:00 p.m. The ride is approximately 20 kilometres and starts at 6:30 p.m. and returns to the Church Hall at about 8:30 p.m. Decorating your bicycle is encouraged.

The ride is free with donations encouraged (suggested donation $5).

All participating bikes must have front and rear lights.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Open House & Food Drive for Anawin House

Dear Friends,

Season’s Greetings!

You are invited to celebrate the holiday season at my Community Office Open House. From 5-7pm, Friday December 16th. 4085 Quadra Street. We’ll have festive cheer and tasty treats!

I’m looking forward to seeing you.

 Best wishes, Lana

PS. My food drive this year is in support of Anawin House ....donations gratefully accepted at the open house or anytime the office is open.Thanks for helping!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Babe's Honey Farm

Letter To the Editor,

The ownership of Babe’s Honey Farm has finally changed. The community of rural Saanich feels the loss of a once iconic working bee farm. Just a glimpse of this now wasteland brings sadness to many of us. Many of our Saanich community members and beyond, knew the first owners of Babe’s Honey, Charlie and Babe Warren. They have gone down in our history books as Saanich’s honey farmers. The second owner of Babes Honey farm has gone down in infamy for destroying our beloved farm in Saanich.

The demise of Babe’s honey farm leaves most of us questioning the outcome. We are in disbelief that this turn of events could not have been stopped. Many community members believe that this outcome came due to a failure at every level of Government, including Saanich.

This past week a new owner has been announced after a receivership sale. It is my understanding and my sincere hope that with new ownership comes the responsibility for remediation that would be a requirement of the Agricultural Land Commission. Full remediation means rehabilitating this land back to its original state.

This would mean the removal of approximately 60,000 cubic meters of construction fill, and more extensive soil testing. This land must be returned to its original soil classification of Class 3 or better.

It is the desire of our community to see this situation fully rectified. I am hopeful that the new owner wants the same outcome. It is my expectation that the Mayor of Saanich accepts nothing less for the community he represents. And it is my hope that the Agricultural Land Commission commits to enforcing its order to remediate.

As MLA of Saanich South and as a community member who adored Babes Honey farm, I will continue to work to see Babes Honey farm restored back to its full agricultural potential. We may have lost a part of our agricultural history, but we have the opportunity to change this story for the future.

Lana Popham

MLA Saanich South

Friday, November 25, 2011

12 Days of Christmas to Anawim House

Dear Saanich South,

Please help us show our generosity and caring to the clients and staff at Anawim House - bring your non-perishable items to either my office (at 4085 Quadra Street) or to Carole James' office (1084 Fort Street). For 12 Days, we will be collecting items for delivery on December 13.

Drop off your donations to the Saanich South office anytime from 9:30am - 5:00pm, Monday to Thursday! Donations to the Victoria-Beacon Hill office can be accepted anytime from 10:00am - 4:00pm, Monday to Thursday and 10:00am - 3:00pm on Fridays!



Monday, November 21, 2011

Chef of the Year Statement - Nov 21, 2011

On Sunday, November 20 I participated in the Chef of the Year competition hosted by the Canadian Culinary Federation - Victoria, up at Camosun College. It was a fantastic fundraiser - showcasing local foods prepared by local talent.

Today, I made a statement in the Legislative Assembly recognizing my assistant and one of the Saanich chefs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Saanich South Showcasing Elizabeth Caulton

Dear Saanich,

We are a very fortunate community to have such talented artists in our midst. My community office at 4085 Quadra is one location you can stop by and view some of their works.

Currently my office is highlighting the acrylic and oil works of Elizabeth Caulton.

Elizabeth was born in England and spent her childhood in the Midlands, which gave her easy access to the natural beauty of the Derbyshire Dales. She moved to B.C. in 1964 and continued her teaching career in both primary schools and University courses.

Elizabeth is using her retirement to devote more time to painting and exploring the use of various mediums in her creations of landscapes, florals, portraits and animal commissions. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and several local art clubs. Her works have been juried into the Sidney Fine Art Show six times - in addition to over 10 years of art showings all around Victoria.

I hope that you will find time to stop into my community office, on the corner of Quadra and Nicholson, to take in a selection of Elizabeth's fine work. We are honoured to host an artist of her caliber.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Time for leaves..........

How to Compost Leaves

Phyllis Heuerman
Frederick County Master Gardener Program

Leaves are often referred to as "Gardeners' Gold". Their bright green appearance in the Spring is a harbinger of the beginning of a new life cycle. Their presence in the summer provides much needed shelter from heat and rain for wildlife and humans alike, as well as being the vehicle through which trees produce their own food. Their dramatic beauty in the Fall can be unparalleled. In addition to all of this, properly used as mulch or compost they provide outstanding organic matter and nutrients to the soil.

Unfortunately, to use leaves effectively as mulch and compost they still must be raked or blown from your gardens and lawn so that you have control over where they are used. Leaving a thick layer of leaves on your lawn or garden can create conditions that lead to rotting of the grass or perennials beneath. So, to start with rake the leaves up into a pile.

Once your leaves have been gathered, you have a choice between using them undecomposed, as mulch, or composting them before you put then in your garden. Regardless of how you are going to use them, the first step is to chop or shred your leaves. This will save space if you are placing them in a bin, it will minimize their blowing around and matting if you are placing them in the garden, and it will hasten their eventual decomposition into composted organic matter.

If you do not have a shredder, and do not wish to rent one, you can use your lawn mower to shred the leaves. If the leaves are on your lawn attach a bagger to your lawn mower before you begin cutting. As you cut the lawn, the leaves will be shredded and gathered into the bagger. You may also gather leaves in a pile and run the lawn mower without a bagger through the pile. Direct the discharge shoot in one direction at all times so that the shredded leaves are placed in a pile and not blown all over the place.

Once you have your shredded leaves, you may place them in your garden as mulch immediately, if you wish. However, do not place an excessive layer of mulch directly on the crowns of herbaceous perennial flowers. This is not necessary, and it can lead to root rot. If you are trying to extend the season for winter root vegetables, like rutabagas, carrots, leeks, kale or beets, you may use a heavy layer of shredded leaves to cover them. You may find that you can harvest these vegetables all winter with this added protection from the leaves. If you do use uncomposted shredded leaves as mulch in your garden, you should add some slow release nitrogen fertilizer to the garden in the Spring, as the process of leaf decomposition may rob the soil of nitrogen.

Another alternative for your shredded leaves is to compost them, either alone or with other organic matter. The simplest but longest process is to place the shredded leaves in a wire bin. Leave them there for two years, turning them occasionally, and you will have a really nice product. Leaf mold is a special fungus-rich compost that can retain three to five times its weight in water, rivaling peat moss. The "Leaf-Gro" that is available in most of or local garden centers is leaf compost. The only disadvantage of using leaves alone for composting is you will find that you need a tremendous amount of leaves to produce any quantity of compost.

Leaves can be used more effectively as a component in a compost pile that contains a variety of organic matters. A good balanced compost pile contains materials rich in nitrogen and others rich in carbon. Leaves can provide the carbon component of your pile. Other good carbon components include straw, nonglossy paper, wood and bark chips. Good nitrogenous materials include grass and plant clippings, uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds. Use your shredded leaves and other carbon materials to layer between your nitrogenous materials in a bin. Turn the pile occasionally to aerate it, and make sure that it is moist, but not soggy. It is not necessary to add commercial compost starters or fertilizer to a compost pile to start it "cooking" but doing so may hasten the process. The amount of time it will take to produce compost depends upon its size, composition and conditions. The process can take anywhere from three months to one year. My small suburban compost bins take 6 to 9 months to produce a fully composted product. I cut the materials I am placing in the piles into small pieces, and I turn the piles about once every 3 to 4 weeks.

I find reusing organic materials such as leaves for mulch and compost to be one of the most satisfying aspects of my gardening. I hope you will give it a try.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

October 24 - Art Show Open House

Dear Saanich South,

Those of you who have already visited my Community Office at 4085 Quadra Street, know that the space lends itself very well to displaying art. Fortunately for all of us, Saanich is a community with many, very talented, artists!

I invite each of you to come to a showing of the art currently gracing the walls of my office - by local artist, Dennis Jaques. Dennis is a self-taught artist who is spending much of his retirement as an active member of the arts community.

On Monday, October 24 from 5:00pm - 7:00pm, we will partake in some light refreshments, good company and an opportunity to meet the artist himself.

In November we will be changing the art to showcase another local painter, Elizabeth Caulton, who has also been invited to this showing. We look forward to offering another opportunity to showcase her art in December.

I consider it an honour to provide my community with what I consider to be an important service - recognition of the arts.

Hope to see you Monday.


Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26 - Resource Conservation

These ideas on Resource Conservation came from participants in our Servin' up Sustainability event in June.

Join the discussion on my Facebook page to comment or add your own ideas.

Resource Conservation

The principles of 'reduce, reuse, and recycle' must govern
the use of all materials and energy. Renewable resources use should be less than the rate of replenishment, while non-renewable resource use must be decreased in order to conserve and share equitably with future generations.

Ways to apply Resource Conservation,

In Your Daily Life

· Use low flow showerheads, washers, taps

· Insulate homes, replace windows to lower heat loss

· Buy second hand

In the Community

· Reduce consumption – reusing – recycle – refuse waste

· More bike lanes

· Public transportation

Provincial Government Policy

· Need for a non-renewables extraction strategy

· Funding for public transit – & more discounts to regular users using the system

· Stop old growth logging on Vancouver Island

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saanich South Community Garden Update

Travis (AKA the Best Farm Worker Ever) is helping whip the Community Garden back into shape - it's been getting a bit out of hand with all the sunshine.

He is making really good time clearing the jungle of weeds!

It was really great to get my own hands in the soil again today, too! Just planting some winter pansies - but gardening nonetheless!

Seems like a good idea to get grounded before the Legislature resumes in less than two weeks.

Come on down to 4085 Quadra and enjoy some of the last days of summer in our garden!

See you soon!

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19 - Just Transition

These ideas on Just Transition came from participants in our Servin' up Sustainability event in June.

Join the discussion on my Facebook page to comment or add your own ideas.

Just Transition

Mechanisms must be in place to manage the transition toward a Sustainable BC so that everyone takes responsibility and no one bears an unfair share of the burden of change.

Ways to prepare for Transition to sustainability:

In Your Daily Life

· Consider your purchases, where they come from, and if you really need them

· Resist victim mentality, be proactive and demonstrate leadership

· Purchase from environmentally & socially responsible companies whenever possible

In the Community

· Set up carpooling at work

· Set up walk or run groups in the community

· Make Quadra Street more bike friendly!!! Increase the amount of bike lanes in Victoria

Provincial Government Policy

· Policies that assist small family farming

· Student loan relief for ‘green’ training or free education for reviewable tech, etc

· Government purchases of land from ALR and made available via lease at reasonable rates to farmers so they don’t have the full burden of land acquisition and maintenance (as with park lands)

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12 - Social Equity

These ideas on the Social Equity came from participants in our Servin' upSustainability event in June.

Join the discussion on my Facebook page to comment or add your own ideas.

Social Equity:

Every British Columbian has a right to clean air and water, healthful food, adequate shelter, quality education and health care, safe surroundings, a sustainable livelihood and active participation in the economy.

Ways you can encourage Social Equity

In Your Daily Life

· Monitor what your kids watch on TV, encourage shows like “Jamie Olivers Food Revolution”

· Organize community meet ups to address issues in the community

· Advocate for the need for publicly owned and managed water etc. Water as a human right.

In the Community

· Support and volunteer for local politicians who campaign on social housing

· Get rid of standardized testing in schools

· Start a garden at a homeless shelter

Provincial Government Policy

· Policies promoting community farming and supporting food banks

· Address and promote healing for the legacy and harm caused by colonialism. First Nations have much to teach in regards to living in harmony and responsibly, these ethics cannot be lost.

· Raise minimum wage to $15-$17 and hour which families and live on and have the opportunity to make better socially conscious choices

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Connecting the Dots for Mental Health

September 10, 2011

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and about 300 people participated in a rally in downtown Victoria. They are calling for some very basic services not currently available to British Columbians in mental health crises. Access to emergency psychiatric services, a bed to sleep on during their crisis, and publicly funded psychotherapy are some of the services needed ...services not available to most people.

Although I had to be elsewhere - my staff represented me at the rally, including reading my statement below.

Too many people are falling through the cracks in our mental health system. It is well passed time to address the gaps that lead already vulnerable people to suicide.

Thank you to the organizers, the volunteers, the speakers, the photographers, for the donations and, of course, thank you to the DOTS.

Good Day Dots Supporters,

I regret that I am unable to be here is person today. It was a great pleasure for our Saanich South Constituency office to assist the Dots Rally from the beginning. The awareness that DOTS is bringing to our Capital Region and to our Province is extremely valuable. Political will is often driven by public

awareness and demand, and taking this issue to the streets, literally, is an excellent use of time and resources. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Jean- for her dedication and passion.

I was thinking about who I would wear my dot for?

This is a question that emphasizes the incredible need for seamless mental health care in Canada and in BC. This is a question that can't be answered without feeling a sense of sadness and frustration due to the lack of connection for people of all ages who suffer with mental illness.

So who does my dot represent? My dot represents Rusty, Brendan and Cam; friends who are not here today because they couldn't find a way to connect the dots and they fell between the cracks. My dot represents all of us who have lost people or feel we are losing people because there are too many spaces between the DOTS here in BC. My DOT is for our community that is suffering because we don't have a plan. And my DOT is for you, because you are here today, and my DOT is standing beside yours making the connection.

Thank-you so very much for taking part is this incredibly important event.

Your Sincerely,

Lana Popham

MLA, Saanich South

(Hands Photo: Daphne Shaed)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6 - Resilience

These ideas on the Resilience came from participants in our Servin' upSustainability event in June.

Join the discussion on my Facebook page to comment or add your own ideas.


Diversity needs to be fostered in communities and ineconomic, social and infrastructure systems in order to lessen vulnerability to risk, uncertainty and surprise, to maintain flexibility, to aid adaptation in the face of adversity and to facilitate future innovation and infrastructure.

Ways that you can foster resilience,

In Your Daily Life

· Get to know your neighbours

· Grow your own food and increase your consumption of organic foods

· Re-skill – learn how to do basic things such as canning, sewing, cooking, and fixing things rather than throwing things out

In the Community

· Engage youth & children

· Bring dynamic innovative training into the school system from an early age to foster creative caring citizens and solutions

· Give feedback to municipal councils for positive actions taken (eg. Infrastructure, transportation)

Provincial Government Policy

· Mandatory food composting for dense areas

· Incorporate gardening skills into elementary school curriculum

· Prohibit genetically modified crops or imported goods

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Be Positive.......or B+

Do you donate blood?

I heard a radio ad today letting us know that there is a real need for blood right now. I have donated in the past but it's been awhile. I know it's an important thing to do and many lives depend on it.....so I called and made an appointment.

On Tuesday I will be donating 450ml (1 pint) of B+ blood.


Information about donating blood to Canadian Blood Services:

Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. Much of the blood that is transfused every year is done under emergency or trauma situations. In Canada, hundreds of thousands of people each year receive blood components or blood products following accidents, during surgery or for cancer treatments, burn therapy, hemophilia and other blood-related diseases.

· The average amount of blood in one person is five litres or 10.5 pints

· There are approximately 450 ml of blood in a unit

· On average, 4.6 units of blood are required per patient

· In 2004/2005 Canadian Blood Services collected approximately 850,000 units of whole blood

It is estimated that about one in two Canadians can give blood. However, this year only one in 60 has and Canadian Blood Services needs this to change.

Basic Eligibility

Please note that this information is subject to change. Final eligibility determination rests with the screening staff at the donor clinic.

Identification with full name and signature, or full name and photograph required.

To donate, you must be at least 17 years of age, in general good health, and feeling well on the day of your donation. If you have never donated before and have had your 61st birthday, or if you are between the ages of 67 and 71, and have not donated within the last two years, you must be assessed by a physician who must fill out and sign the following letter. You must also meet the other standard requirements for donation. To find out more, please call us at1 888 2 DONATE.

Letter to the Attending Physician (Please bring the completed letter with you to the clinic when you next come in to donate)

At least 50 kg (110 lb).

Frequency of Donation
Minimum interval between blood donations is 56 days.

In general good health and feeling well. You should have had something to eat and adequate sleep. You must also meet hemoglobin (iron) requirements (test done at clinic).

At the time of donation, you will be asked a number of questions to determine your eligibility. For example:

· Had dental treatment (extractions, fillings, cleaning, restoration)

o For cleaning or filling: until the day after treatment

o For extraction, root canal or dental surgery: 72 hours provided there is full recovery

· A cold, flu or sore throat

o Full recovery

· Had ear or body piercing or tattooing

o 6 months

Donating blood does not put you at risk of disease. All needles are sterile, used only once and discarded. The usual blood collection - a "unit" - is about half a litre, or one pint. Your body soon replaces all the blood you donate.

Stem Cells
To be eligible to join the Canadian Blood Services OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, you must:

· Be between 17 and 50 years of age

· Meet certain health-related criteria

· Fall between certain height and weight levels

For more information please call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283).

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29 - Biodiversity

These ideas on the principle of Biodiversity came from participants in our Servin' upSustainability event and workshop in June 2011.

Join the discussion on my Facebook page to comment or add your own ideas.


Protection of diversity of plant and animal species is essential if ecosystems are to thrive and maintain the resilience necessary for adaptation and survival.

Ways that you can support biodiversity:

In Your Daily Life

· Plant only native gardens

· Replace lawns with plants that attract mason BEES!!! And butterflies!

· Help remove invasive species

In the Community

· Agriculture technologies that incorporate wildlife habitat, drainage systems in watersheds

· Preserve natural habitats

· Stop your pet from chasing or killing other species

Provincial Government Policy

· Urge No bottled water, educate B.C. water is among the best in the world

· Grow and harvest sustainably more from the sea

Saturday, August 27, 2011

From the Office of the Speaker - In remembrance of the late Jack Layton

From the Office of the Speaker

"In remembrance of the late Jack Layton

A Book of Condolence has been made available for MLAs, staff and the public to sign. The Book is located on the 2nd floor of the Parliament Buildings, in the Members' Lobby. The Book will be available for signature weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

A State Funeral for Mr. Layton will take place in Toronto on Saturday, August 27th. The Book of Condolence will be available until Monday, August 29th."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

“Yes, we DO want a voice!"

In the beginning there was a Petition Initiative – British Columbians were asked if they wanted to have a say in a whole new tax structure. British Columbians said “yes, we DO want a voice”.

Then there were those who wanted to challenge whether that Petition Initiative was legitimate. It was.

Then there was the referendum and people champing at the bit to get their voting package– even in the middle of a postal strike.

Now for the count. Elections BC staff are madly verifying and counting HST ballots.

The numbers will be released on a riding-by-riding basis tomorrow. Here is the link where the results will be posted:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Think Outside The Bag!

While it earned me the nickname “bag lady” for a few years, my Think Outside The Bag campaign helped bring about change in this region. Instead of an official ban on plastic grocery bags, we saw enthusiastic community support for reducing plastic usage and increasing our re-usable alternatives at groceries stores.

With news that a major grocery chain may go back to offering plastic bags, I feel the need to dust off my campaign and start again. The difference this time is that I think I would be preaching to the converted.

There are many reasons why not using plastic bags is a good idea. The value of oil used to make these bags should alone be a deterrent, but convenience is sometimes a convenient excuse. There is the idea that a ban may save room in the landfill. In reality, plastic grocery bags don’t take up much room.

So what is the most important reason we should stop using plastic shopping bags? It’s simple. There are millions of bags that do not end up in recycling depot, landfills, or under the kitchen sink. If they did, this issue would not be so important. These bags end up in our environment. They are perfectly designed to move by wind. These bags end up polluting our landscape and floating in the ocean surrounding us. Sadly, many sea creatures mistake them as food or are entangled by them, dying of starvation or suffocation. I think our region will continue making smart choices, and I encourage our grocery retailers to continue to Think Outside The Bag.

Lana Popham

MLA, Saanich South