Monday, November 30, 2015

You're invited

Dear Constituents of Saanich South,

It is my pleasure to invite you to an Art Show and Open House this Wednesday, December the 2nd, from 5-7PM at my Constituency Office, 4085 Quadra.

There will be tasty snacks and desserts, as well as tea, coffee and hot apple cider.

In attendance will be two talented artists who live in the Blenkinsop Valley, Illarion Gallant and Tywla Rusnak. Their remarkable work – both paintings and sculptures – will be on display.

This event is also a fundraiser for two members of our community, a single mother and her young daughter. They have no extended family support, are struggling on a very low income and one of them has a severe and permanent disability. Help me raise the money necessary to buy them a laptop and a printer. This would be a great help to the school-age girl, and for her mother who would use it for language training as her first language is not English.

Last week I sent out a printed report summarizing my work as an MLA since being re-elected two years ago. It is also a request for input on my priorities moving forward. Please take a look by clicking here.

Warm regards, Lana
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Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Royal BC Museum visits Saanich South

A great part of my job is organizing and hosting community gatherings. My goal is always the same: to bring people together for an enjoyable event that also raises awareness about important ideas.

Last month, I held my sixth such event, an evening in Saanich with the Royal BC Museum. Professor and Museum CEO Jack Lohman joined us at the well-loved Beach House restaurant in Cordova Bay. 

Professor Lohman gave a riveting speech to a capacity crowd (200 people). He brought with him two of world-class curators, Dr. Kathryn Bridge and Dr. Martha Black, as well as rarely seen treasures from the museum's extraordinary collection. 

The three of them generously spent the evening with us, letting everyone get up close and personal with the items, and answering innumerable questions about their historical and cultural significance.

This event was advertised and free tickets were given out on a first-come-first-served basis. My office also organized a companion event earlier in the day for public school students at Claremont Secondary.

If you would have liked to attend but did not hear about, please contact my office and we will be sure to let you know about such events in the future.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Opinion: B.C. must become a climate leader

                               John Horgan, Leader of the Official Opposition   

                                     Photograph by: Arlen Redekop , PNG

BY JOHN HORGAN, SPECIAL TO THE VANCOUVER SUN

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change, due to open in Paris in a few days, is one of the most consequential gatherings of world leaders in our lifetime.

The Paris talks are our best chance to slow and reverse the human-caused changes to our atmosphere that threaten our way of life. British Columbia must play an important role as Canada and the nations of the world reach for an accord and begin to take decisive action.

In British Columbia, we see the effects of climate change in the growing number of powerful storms that pummel our coast, record wildfires that destroy our forests, and water shortages that harm our agricultural sector. To the north, glaciers are in retreat. To the south, California has endured catastrophic drought. Greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. have increased every single year since Premier Christy Clark took office, and they are still trending upwards.

It’s not too late, but real action will only come with real leadership, and we’re not getting it from Premier Clark. The climate change plan she inherited has run out of steam. She imposed a five-year freeze on the carbon tax, refuses to use carbon tax revenue to fund climate solutions, exempted the LNG industry from calculating greenhouse gas emissions on 70 per cent of its operations, cancelled a home retrofit program, and derailed public transit expansion plans with a built-to-fail referendum.

We must change course, and we can. Last week at BCIT, I announced a bold, progressive plan for jobs and energy called PowerBC. Our plan includes an ambitious program of energy retrofits for public and private buildings, upgrades to maximize our existing hydroelectric dams, and an aggressive move toward renewable technologies like wind and solar power. Our plan looks forward, not back.

PowerBC would make energy retrofits a top priority of government, while creating jobs and supporting the economy in every community in the province. Energy retrofits of major public buildings like schools and hospitals are a direct way government can lead on energy conservation. But Premier Clark doesn’t see that. Empowering and enabling families to renovate their homes would not only reduce emissions, but would also save money. But Premier Clark cancelled a retrofit program in 2014 after British Columbians signed up for it in great numbers.

Right across B.C., there are more opportunities for us to take meaningful action against climate change. For example, we should be considering serious investment in infrastructure for electric vehicles, and expanding on programs that incent British Columbians to adopt this forward-looking technology. And we should be investing in our public transit system to reduce congestion and cut vehicle emissions. The game-playing on transit funding that has characterized Premier Clark’s leadership has to end. New Democrats have long argued that a portion of the money raised through the carbon tax should be used specifically to reduce carbon emissions through support for projects like transit expansion.

It’s time to move beyond talk and photo ops. This moment in our shared history demands leadership and political courage. It’s time for real action on climate change to ensure that we leave our children a province, and a planet, as bountiful and healthy as the one we were entrusted with.

John Horgan is leader of the B.C. New Democrats.