Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Housing {un}affordability

Are you concerned about the un-affordability of housing in our community?

Let's build momentum to tackle this problem!

Join me and other local MLAs for a Community Town Hall! October 11, 6:30-8:00pm at Reynolds School (3963 Borden Rd.). We'll have a panel discussion and an open Q&A. (And snacks too!)

I'm very pleased to share that the panel will include MLA David Eby and housing expert Marika Albert. (Other panellists to be announced.)

On the agenda are the challenges and opportunities we face when it comes to the cost of housing on the south Island.

MLA Eby is the Spokesperson for Housing for the Opposition New Democrats in the BC Legislature. He is very knowledgeable and articulate about these issues and has a lot to say about how we could improve the situation.

Ms. Albert is the Executive Director of the Community Social Planning Council. She has done extensive research on housing affordability and was formerly a Research Analyst at BC Stats and a research Associate for the McCreary Centre Society.

Hope to see you there!


Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Premier Clark breaks election promise, reduces youth drug treatment beds

Despite Premier Christy Clark’s assurances that ‘good progress’ is being made helping British Columbians with substance abuse issues, New Democrats have revealed that treatment spaces for youth fell by 25 per cent in the last two years, said New Democrat Leader John Horgan.

“The premier said the right things when she promised 500 new addiction treatment spaces in the 2013 election campaign, but now we know that not only has she missed her own deadline, but she has actually reduced addiction treatment spaces for youth over the past three years while the overdose epidemic was growing,” said Horgan.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Premier Clark failing to address escalating fentanyl crisis

Fentanyl overdoses are projected to claim a record number of lives in British Columbia this year, but the BC Liberal government has failed to provide adequate, accessible pathways to treatment for people and families desperately seeking mental health and addiction services, said New Democrat leader John Horgan.

“We’ve been watching this deadly spike in fentanyl use and fatal overdoses since 2013, yet addiction services and access to treatment beds have not kept pace with the crisis,” Horgan said. “Where has the Clark government been for the past two years? Why is our provincial government unable to meet the needs of people and families desperate to find help when it comes to opioid addiction?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Peter Gary - May his memory continue to inspire

Dr. Peter Gary,  2006.
Screenshot from "Glimpses of Heaven",
a documentary by Michael Dayan.

Dear Friends,

As the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Saanich South, I would like to acknowledge with sadness the death of Dr. Peter Gary. There are many people mourning today and I wish them comfort at this most difficult time. Special condolences to his widow, Ms Judy Esrin, his son and the many others who loved him deeply.

Dr. Gary lived a remarkable life in his 93 years. As an adult he worked as a musician and composer. His extraordinary talent led him to be accepted for studies at the same academy attended by Bartok and Kodaly. He had a Ph.D in Musicology from the Sorbonne and conducted orchestras in France and Germany. He also worked in the film industry in Hollywood, and as what we would today call a Music Therapist. He taught at the University of California and at UVIC. 

Many of us know of Dr. Gary because of what he experienced before this illustrious career. He was born in Poland 1924 and was raised in Hungary. Showing great promise in music, Dr. Gary began studying piano at the age of 5. 

By the mid 1930s, however, his life and that of so many others, was ripped apart as anti-Semitism worsened horribly in Europe with the rise of Nazism in Germany. 

On Christmas Eve, 1941, when he was 17, he and his mother and many other Jews were taken at gun-point to a ravine where they were stripped, lined up and machine-gunned. Dr. Gary's mother was immediately hit and soon died. She saved his life by falling on top of him. In the end he was one of only four people who escaped the ravine alive. He made it to the Warsaw Ghetto but was eventually captured and spent years of horror and terror in three different Nazi death camps. When he was finally liberated by the British he was 21 years old and weighed less than 76 pounds.

We know these personal and shocking details of his life because Dr. Gary shared them with us. He was dedicated to remembering the Holocaust. In fact, Dr. Gary helped found the Victoria Holocaust Remembrance and Education Society. Over the years he spoke to more than 60,000 people -- mostly young people -- about his experiences and what he learned from them. He taught people to learn from the mistakes of the past and to embrace -- not fear or hate -- people who are different. We owe Dr. Gary a great moral debt for his willingness to share his experiences with our young people. I also want to recognise that he inspired many by showing that it is possible to regain feelings of joy and hope even after the most painful and cruel experiences imaginable.

Dr. Gary was very well known in this Constituency and around the world because of his enthusiasm, passion and warmth. He will be greatly missed but the impact of his good work will last for generations to come. May his memory continue to inspire us all.

MLA Lana Popham

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Saanich News: Local office promotes local artists

OPINION/MLA Report by Lana Popham
Reprinted from the Saanich News, September 14 2016

Saanich is home to many talented artists, both famous and little-known. Their work creates meaning and joy in our lives. They are part of the larger Arts and Culture sector in B.C., which is a major economic engine, responsible for approximately three per cent of the province’s gross domestic product.

From a political perspective, I must point out that the current B.C. government ranks dead last among all provinces when it comes to supporting the arts. We can do better than that!

However, I am proud to say that British Columbians rank at the top or near the top among provinces when it comes to attending and volunteering for arts and cultural events and donating to arts and cultural organizations.

I see this love of arts and culture very clearly among the people in the constituency of Saanich South. That is why over the last seven years I have opened up my community office to showcase the art of more than a dozen individuals who live in this constituency.

This includes the folk-art of Dennis Jacques, the metal monotypes of Jenn Whitford-Robins and acrylic impressionistic paintings by Peter Van Giesen.

Showcasing sculptures, books and pottery was made possible this year by the generous help of Saanich resident Pat Brown, who constructed plinths and shelving. This has enabled us to display three-dimensional art such as the sculptures of Illarion Gallant and the pottery of the Nancy Alexander.

At the moment my office is presenting the artwork of Dr. Kris Tangri. I met Dr. Tangri at his home this summer while door-knocking and by chance learned about his interesting life as a scientist and artist. Dr. Tangri has worked and travelled in more than 40 countries. His art reflects this broad experience and depicts warm expanses, bright colours and engaging textures and patterns. It has been shown in galleries and private collections everywhere from Bombay and Barcelona to New York and Vancouver.

I’m very pleased he has agreed to show it in Saanich. The art can be viewed at my community office, 4085 Quadra St., during regular hours, Monday to Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Next Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., there will be a special showing with the artist in attendance. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

It is a privilege to use my community office to share with you all the artwork of residents who live in this constituency. I am always looking for artists to showcase in the future and encourage anyone who lives in the constituency and would like the opportunity to contact my office at 250-479-4154.

Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South



I would like to thank and acknowledge the following artists who have shared their art with the community at the Saanich South Constituency Office over the last seven years.

  • Dennis Jaques, 2010
  • Elizabeth Caulton, 2011
  • Marti Mussell, 2012
  • Jenn Whitford-Robins, 2012
  • Jan Dong, 2013
  • Margo Cooper, 2013
  • Sandra Levy, 2013
  • Peter Van Giesen, 2014
  • Marcia Perkins, 2014
  • Ilarion Gallant, 2015
  • Twyla Rusnak, 2015
  • Nancy Alexander, 2016
  • Kris Tangri, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Eid Saeed!

To all my Muslim friends and constituents:
May every year bring you good health! May you enjoy and celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha! I wish you and your family the very best in the spirit of kindness and friendship. Eid Mubarak!
I would also like to share a message from my friend and colleague, Opposition Leader MLA John Horgan:
“On behalf of the New Democrat caucus, we extend our whole-hearted and warmest greetings to the Muslim community as another Eid al-Adha celebration approaches. All British Columbians who practice the Islamic faith look forward to this holy occasion, and we wish all who celebrate a most wonderful Eid Mubarak.,”
Warm regards,
MLA Popham