Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Proposed legislation to curtail cosmetic use of pesticides

Dear Saanich South,

I’m proud to say that the Official Opposition is again bringing forward legislation to curtail the cosmetic use of pesticides in BC. I know many people share my concern about the effects of toxic chemicals on the health of our children and the environment.

In fact, there is overwhelming public support and sufficient scientific evidence about the associated environmental and human health risks from the chemicals contained in household pesticides for the provincial government to take action.

Clearly toxic pesticides should not be used where children play. There are viable non-synthetic alternatives to cosmetic pesticides that are widely available to consumers.

The Bill introduced today is consistent with legislation that exists in six other Canadian provinces and legislative reforms urged by the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Toxic Free Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
Although the government is unlikely to support this Bill, it does demonstrate clearly the perspective and priority of the Official Opposition.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Busy "week off"!

The Legislature may not be "sitting" this week but that doesn't mean I'm not working!

As many of you know, I am the Official Opposition Critic for Agriculture. It is something I throw my all into, not just because of my background as a farmer and my passion for food security - but also because local agriculture is so important to many, many people in Saanich South.

This week my Critic responsibilities led me to turn the spotlight on two important issues.

First, I called on the BC government to support the BC Fruit Producers Association and many others to oppose the unrestricted commercial planting of genetically-engineered apples in BC. A Globe & Mail Mail article about this is here. And please take a moment to sign my petition at the bottom of this post.

Second, I pressed the Minister of Agriculture to back down from his attempt to push through legislation that would prevent the public from learning about animal disease outbreaks. This was the lead item on CTV Vancouver Island News last night. You can read a Times Colonist article about this here or watch the video clip here:

This week I also held a community meeting for constituents at the Marigold Housing Co-op.

"Building bridges of dialogue, one city at a time."
Cycling4Diversity riders, May 25, 2012
But it wasn't all work!

Earlier in the week I participated in the launch of Bike to Work Week.

Yesterday I had the great privilege to address the 2012 Spectrum graduating class. It is very inspiring to see the hopeful faces of our future leaders.

Last night I attended a fund-raiser for a constituent who has Lyme disease. His name is JL and you can learn more about him from this youtube video.

Today I welcomed the Cycling4Diversity riders at my community office and joined with them on the last leg of the ride.

Tonight I'll be at the Reynolds 2012 Graduation Ceremony.

This Sunday at 1pm I will be participating in "Water Walk", a positively AFRICA fundraiser. Join me for a 10km walk around Elk and Beaver Lakes! (Send me an email if you want to participate:

And finally, this Sunday, between 10am-2pm there will be a bottle drive fundraiser at my community office parking lot (4085 Quadra) in support of DOTS, the Suicide Prevention Day group. Bring your refundable containers here and support the work of this important group.

Best wishes, Lana.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lyme Disease

Dear Friends,

Whether you are hanging out in the backyard or camping in pristine wilderness, Lyme disease is a serious concern.

Lyme disease is spread by nymphal ticks no bigger than a speck of pepper. Ticks travel from animal to animal, feeding off blood. The bites can be painless and leave only a tiny mark that doesn’t last very long. 

As stated in a recent document by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, ticks on Vancouver Island may infect people with Lyme disease and the consequences can be very serious.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada:
The symptoms of Lyme disease usually happen in three stages, although not all patients have every symptom. The first sign of infection is usually a circular rash. This rash occurs in about 70-80 percent of infected people. It begins at the site of the tick bite after a delay of three days to one month.

Other common symptoms include:
  • fatigue
  • chills
  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle and joint pain
  • swollen lymph nodes
If untreated, the second stage of the disease can last up to several months and include:
  • central and peripheral nervous system disorders
  • multiple skin rashes
  • arthritis and arthritic symptoms
  • heart palpitations
  • extreme fatigue and general weakness

It sounds serious, and it is. But it is also easily preventable, and if promptly diagnosed, it is easily treatable, too.

Here are a few tips from the BC Centre for Disease Control:
  • Walk on cleared trails wherever possible when walking in tall grass or woods.
  • Wear light coloured clothing, tuck your top into your pants and tuck your pants into your boots or socks.
  • Put insect repellent containing DEET on all uncovered skin.
  • Check clothing and scalp (covered or not) when leaving an area where ticks may live.
Lyme disease is North America’s fastest rising infectious disease. It’s utterly debilitating if not detected and treated quickly with antibiotics.

If detected early, Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics in a matter of weeks. When in doubt, see a doctor – and make sure she tests for Lyme disease if your symptoms fit the above profile.

I am close to several people who suffer from Lyme disease. I know how brutal this disease can be. Thank you for reading.


For more information: