Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Practical response to concerns over Smart Meters

Keri Sculland, Alberni Valley Times
Thank you John Horgan!

John Horgan is the MLA for Juan de Fuca and the Official Opposition Energy Critic. His response to Smart Meter concerns is an example of how practical approaches can be taken to address complex problems.

John Horgan and the Opposition have called on the BC Utilities Commission to review Smart Meters. One piece of the puzzle will be to consider options to empower people to opt-out of smart meters altogether. In Quebec, residents can pay a modest amount to offset the cost of a hardwired meter - that seems like a practical idea. It would certainly be preferable than the current situation for many people.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Opposition to GM apple on the rise

Okanagan Specialty Fruits/New York Times
Dear Saanich South,

It is a very busy time at the Legislature - we are trying to get as much business done as possible during the last of our all-too-few sittings for this term. One of an MLAs roles is to present petitions to the Legislative Assembly. Today I will be presenting one that concerns an issue that I know is important to many Saanich South residents.

This petition, signed by more than 5500 BC residents, calls on the BC Legislature to “take urgent action to halt the commercial introduction of a genetically modified apple”.

A small BC company, Okanagan Specialty Fruits has licensed technology it claims produces a “non-browning” apple. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is currently considering an application to allow this apple to be produced commercially.

Today I again ask the BC Ministry of Agriculture to stop avoiding this issue and listen to the thousands of consumers, farmers and stakeholders who are demanding their government actively oppose growing genetically modified apples in BC.

The effect of this genetic modification is that it will make it harder to see bruises and discolouration - but those are important visual cues people use before deciding to take a bite. It is irresponsible for this government to stand idly by while a single commercial interest risks the excellent reputation of the entire BC fruit industry.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dear Saanich South,

Many of you know that I was a full-time farmer before entering politics, so I really enjoy reconnecting with farmers and value their ideas for improving agriculture in BC. As the Agriculture Critic, I am very excited to be participating in the Farmer2Farmer conference this Thursday.

This event, allowing farmers to network extensively, was organized by the CR-FAIR (Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable) and features a full day of farmer-focused learning. Some of the items on the agenda include workshops on selecting crops and preserving excess products; discussions exploring farm planning and institutional selling; and expert panels sharing information about organic certification and direct marketing.

I am honoured to be a part of the welcome wagon, along with other officials. From 11:30 – noon, I will host a Q&A session, “Grill Your Agriculture Critic”, before I head back to the Legislative Assembly.

To register, or for more information, check out their website Only one more day to register!

Information about CR-FAIR and their programs and projects can be found on their website at