Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Holiday Open House a Huge Success!

I had an amazing time at our annual Holiday Open House last night!! Thanks so much to everyone who was able to take the time to join us, and best wishes to you and your family for great holiday season!


Saturday, December 1, 2018

Monthly Mico-Action: Reflection

MLA's note: Laska is one of our fabulous Saanich South constituents, and she's also a guest blogger! Each month she provides a tip - or "micro-action" about how we can waste less and re-use more. Read on to find out what she has in store for this month! 
December is a great month for reflection; a time to measure progress throughout the year and check direction for the future; making sure you’re on course with what’s most important to you. It’s also a holiday season which typically means holiday traditions.

Traditions are important because they connect people to behaviors or beliefs with origins in the past. As sacred as traditions may seem, sometimes traditions can become stressful and one loses the sense of purpose behind them. But it’s the purpose that connects us, not the tradition. As we evolve so do our circumstances, our identities and our values, so naturally it's healthy to question the usefulness and purpose of rituals as we learn to be more environmentally friendly and support a sustainable existence for the long term.

Below are some traditional holiday rituals and suggestions for creating fresh new traditions that are simpler and more sustainable.

1. Keep the tradition of connection with family members and friends alive with digital holiday cards — no paper required. Send e-invites to your holiday parties and easily manage RSVPs. This option helps save trees, time and money.

2. Big family celebrations can be stressful enough without leaving stacks of dishes and linens to be done making disposal dishware seem like the best choice. I get it. But instead of looking at it as a chore, see cleaning up as another activity to do together as a family and coordinate it with music and dance. Why not load the dishwasher, put away clean items, or fold napkins to the sweet sounds of Michael Jackson. The kids will love it!

3. Gift wrapping. I know, this one can be tough. Especially if you enjoy coordinating the stickers, tags, ribbons and paper. I know I do! Enjoy the challenge of making beautiful packages from castoff materials. Brown paper with baker’s twine topped with a holly or twig is cheery, seasonal and compostable.

4. Conscious shopping. So many gifts out there are more packaging than they are gift, and the packaging is going to be thrown away. While Amazon is enticing (and convenient) consider supporting your local economy and buying a gift from a local retailer. And if you need to mail a gift to a friend or family member, a great option are e-gift certificates or actual gift certificates. They physically create zero or very little waste. Plus, the recipient can redeem them for something they truly want and will use.

Micro-Actions For December

Trying to keep to a zero waste lifestyle during the holidays can be challenging. But it’s important to remember that time spent with your loved ones making memories is the best gift so give yourself permission to just relax and enjoy the season.

I want to take a moment and say thank you for reading my posts and for considering ways to support a sustainable future through daily micro-actions. I hope I’ve provided useful information and tips on small changes you can make in your day-to-day lives so that you feel confident about our future.

Wishing you all a joyful holiday season and a waste-less New Year!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Community Office Holiday Open House!

I hope you'll be able to join my staff and I at our annual Holiday Open House! It's taking place on December 10 from 5-7 pm at my community office (4243 Glanford Avenue, Unit 260). I look forward to seeing you there!


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Collecting Donations for Anawim House

My community office and Carole James' office are collecting donations for Victoria’s Anawim House! In case you’re not familiar, this amazing organization provides healthy meals, showers, laundry facilities, clothing and more to men and women in our region.

Donations will gratefully be accepted any time my community office is open – 9-4 Monday-Thursday! It’s located at 4243 Glanford Avenue, Unit 260

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Over 400 new child care spaces on the South Island!

Great news for families on the South Island: our government just announced 439 new licensed child care spaces that will be located at six elementary schools in SD 61!
These new spaces are just the first to be announced under the ChildCare BC New Spaces Fund, and will be delivered in partnership by the Greater Victoria School District and non-profit organizations! Several of the locations will also offer “wraparound” services including counselling, healthy food and clothing to support vulnerable families, and programming for francophone families and those who are new to Canada.


Monday, November 26, 2018

BC Budget Remains on Track, Growth Stable

There’s always so much happening down at the Legislature, but here’s a piece of good news that shouldn’t be missed: BC is operating debt-free for the first time in more than 40 years!
Even as we’ve made record-level capital investments in affordable housing, schools and hospitals, the province’s debt-to-GDP ratio is at its lowest point since the 2008 financial crisis. Private sector economists are also projecting our province to lead Canada in GDP growth in 2019!


Friday, November 23, 2018

Education Savings Week

Did you know that November 18-24 is Education Savings Week in BC?

Many folks that I talk to are surprised by the amount of funding that's available to help save for you, or your child's education! Here are just a few examples: 

Receive $1,200 toward a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for children between six and nine years old.

There are no additional fees or financial contributions needed to receive the $1,200 B.C. Training and Education Savings Grant through one of 56 banks or financial institutions in Canada. This allows parents and families who cannot currently afford to put money aside to start a RESP. Even the smallest investment can grow over time and make it easier to pursue post-secondary education and training.
Receive up to $2,000 to invest in a RESP
Eligible families with modest incomes can receive up to $2,000 for each child’s RESP from the Canada Learning Bond. There are no fees and parents can receive this grant without making any additional financial contributions: For more information, visit: http://Canada.Ca/education-savings 
Have personal RESP contributions matched by the Canadian government
The Canada Education Savings Grant will match parents' contributions up to a maximum of $7,200 per child: http://Canada.Ca/education-savings 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

ALR is for farming, not mega-homes or construction waste

When it comes to protecting farmland, the choice is obvious and the rationale is simple: the best farmland in our province should be used to grow food, not for mega-mansions and illegal garbage dumps.
Over the last 15 years, pressures on our farmland were allowed to grow, driving the cost of land out of reach for farmers, discouraging people from joining the profession and investing in food production, and allowing our valuable farmland to be damaged or lost, often permanently. We’re fixing that.
On Nov. 5, I introduced legislation that protects the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and makes it clear that farmland in the ALR is meant for farming. The legislation addresses mega-mansions and speculation in the ALR so farmers can get onto the land and bring it into production. It cracks down on dumping construction waste and fill to protect our valuable, arable soil, and it reinstates one zone for all ALR land in British Columbia to make it clear that the entire ALR benefits from the same strong protection.
The number of mansions and lifestyle estates on ALR land in urban areas has steadily increased in recent years, inflating farmland prices and preventing new, often younger farmers from growing food. In April 2018, it was reported that after a new mega mansion was built on a nearly 20 acre lot assessed at $85,000, it was sold for $9.2 million. That’s more than $465,000 per acre, putting that land far out of reach for farmers.
By setting a maximum house size of 500 square metres (approximately 5,400 square feet) throughout the ALR, our government is putting a stop to the speculation and building of mega-mansions on our most valuable farmland.
The change does not affect existing houses. Multi-generational farming families who live together and work their land will also still be able to build larger homes if needed through application to the ALC. Mega-mansions on the ALR were one of the main concerns we’ve heard from British Columbians expressed to an independent committee tasked with reviewing how we could revitalize the ALR and the ALC, and it is one on which the government is delivering.
British Columbians are also concerned about the illegal dumping of construction waste on the ALR. The damage of truckload after truckload of waste is often permanent, putting land out of production. This year alone, the ALC has dealt with 191 cases related to fill — 45% of all their compliance and enforcement files. Fill dumping can range from anywhere from eight truckloads to hundreds of thousands of truckloads on a single piece of land. At between $50 and $200 per truckload, you can see why some people find it more lucrative to farm fill rather than food.
Under the new bill, dumping construction waste and other damaging substances on farmland will be prohibited, with strong penalties and new tools for enforcement. New offences for illegal fill and soil removal have been created under the new act with maximum penalties of $1 million or six months imprisonment for a first offence.
The return to one zone throughout the ALR will result in all land in the reserve being protected equally, with one set of decision-making criteria focused on preserving the ALR and encouraging farming and ranching. Farmers who wish to supplement their income through non-farming activities on their land will still be able to apply to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to do so. British Columbians support this approach, and so do B.C. farmers, with both the B.C. Agriculture Council and family farms championing a one-zone system in which all land in the ALR receives the same protection.
There’s more work to come. This is all part of our government's ongoing commitment to revitalize the ALR and the ALC to protect farmland and farming in British Columbia. The old government allowed pressures on our farmland to grow.  For too long, people have used the ALR for mega-mansion estate-living and as illegal garbage dumps, but we're changing that.
Our government is making it clear that farmland in the ALR is for British Columbians who farm it and support prosperity in our communities, and whose hard work will let us all put fresh, local food on our tables for years to come.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Monthly Micro-Actions: The Last Plastic Straw

*MLA’s note* I’m so happy to introduce Laska Paré! Laska is one of our amazing constituents in Saanich South, and is also a monthly guest blogger on my website! She writes about tips on small changes we can make in our day-to-day lives to encourage us to live more sustainably. Read on below to find out more! -Lana  

Some things in life have become the norm; being handed a paper receipt upon making a purchase or getting a plastic straw when you order a drink at a restaurant. But what are all of these ubiquitous norms leading too? Millions of gallons of oil and trees and billions of gallons of water being consumed.. And for what? A small piece of paper most people don’t want and a bendy plastic tube used for an average of 20 minutes (or less). Just because it’s become “the norm” doesn’t mean it’s free from major hidden consequences.

The Plastic Drinking Straw

Humans have been using “drinking tubes” for over 7,000 years[1].  In the 1880s, gentlemen sipped their whiskey through long tubes made of natural rye that lent a grassy flavor to whatever drink they plopped in. In the 1900’s when polio was rampant, soda fountains offered paper straws to prevent contact with shared glasses.[2] But then came the 1950’s. With the popularization of cars, the quick-meal revolution emerged which included the creation of low-cost disposable packaging: Long and behold the plastic straw was born!

Disposable plastic straws are not recyclable. One study published earlier this year estimated as many as 8.3 billion plastic straws pollute the world's beaches[3], and none of the commonly used plastics are biodegradable. As a result, they accumulate, rather than decompose, in landfills or the natural environment.

The environment is not just one little piece of the world’s puzzle. It's what every single thing in our life depends upon!

Maybe you’ve heard of food vendors and restaurants offering compostable plastics, such as straws and cutlery.. Within the market of consumer plastics is the growing industry of bioplastics – plastics made from plant biomass, such as corn. As marketable as biodegradable and compostable plastics are, there’s often more to these claims than meets the eye. Consumers often mistakenly assume these plastics will decompose in a reasonable time frame but for this to happen the bioplastics require the ‘right’ environment for them to decompose, e.g. the infrastructure. As well, this solution assumes that all the bioplastics actually find their way to the industrial facility which is unlikely.

Biodegradable plastics don’t make all that much sense in a long-term context. Plastic is a complex, highly refined synthetic material — why create something that requires a significant amount of energy to manufacture, only to have it disappear forever into the soil? Seems like a large consumption of resources for a short-term gain.

Micro-Actions For November

We can all vote with how we choose to spend our dollars, but some companies will always have more dollars than you. I encourage you to vote with your voice! Ask for “no straw” wherever straws are served, and don’t be afraid to tell restaurants and bars you frequent to only serve straws upon request. Very likely, you’ve been hearing more and more about cities and companies banning plastic straws, and Vancouver is going to be the first major city in Canada to ban plastic straws[4]. This is because awareness of the wastefulness of plastic straws has increased thanks to people taking a stand and saying “no” to using plastic straws. While we wait for city hall to declare Victoria as the second city to ban plastic straws in Canada, Mayor Lisa Helps encourages citizens to take a ban in their own lives on single-use items because it’s pretty easy to do if you just give it a little bit of thought[5]. 

[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/11/the-amazing-history-and-the-strange-invention-of-the-bendy-straw/248923/
[2] http://blogs.worldwatch.org/plastic-straws-a-life-cycle/
[3] http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/7/e1700782.full
[4] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-vancouver-to-be-first-major-canadian-city-to-ban-plastic-straws/
[5] http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/victoria-eyes-ban-on-foam-containers-plastic-drinking-straws-1.23309405

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform

Drop by the Saanich South Constituency Office today to pick up a copy of the Voters Guide for the 2018 Referendum on Electoral Reform!

206-4243 Glanford Avenue

Friday, October 26, 2018

A busy week!

It’s definitely been busy down at the Legislature this past week, but I feel so lucky to have had a bit of time in and around Saanich as well!

Over the past 48 hours I was lucky to attend (or my amazing staff were, in a few cases where I had a scheduling conflict) the Friends of Braefoot Gala Dinner (with Minister Rob Fleming), the Prospect Lake Community Association AGM, a grant-writing workshop my community office co-organized with Ministers Fleming and Carole James, a celebration of Farm To School Month at Colquitz Middle School and the opening of therapeutic recovery community in View Royal (with Minister Judy Darcy and MLA Mitzi Dean)!

Hope everyone has a great start to their weekend, and thanks to everyone who helped to make all of these events such a success!


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Saanich South Seed Bank and Exchange

Join me as I launch the opening of of my new seedbank in our community office!

BC has an active community of organic vegetable seed growers, small-scale seed companies, and seed libraries - all of which contribute to maintaining genetic diversity for BC agriculture. Chris Thoreau of FarmFolk CityFolk will present an overview of seed production in BC and explores the potential of a thriving organic seed sector for BC.

You are welcome to bring a package of seeds to exchange for another.

Hope to see(d) you there!


Monday, October 1, 2018

Monthly Micro-Actions: Think At the Sink

*MLA’s note* I’m so happy to introduce Laska Paré! Laska is one of our amazing constituents in Saanich South, and is also a monthly guest blogger on my website! She writes about tips on small changes we can make in our day-to-day lives to encourage us to live more sustainably. Read on below to find out more! -Lana  

As much as we’d like to believe our sinks are bottomless monster mouths; hungry to eat up anything and everything we feed them, they’re not and shouldn’t be used that way. The more food, fats, oils, grease and household hazardous waste we put down the drain or through the garbage disposal, the more impact they will have on our sewer lines, wastewater treatment systems, not to mention create environmental and public health hazards.


Maybe you’re reading this as you plunge your drain filled with last night’s spaghetti.. And there you stand, Drano in hand, ready to treat the buildup. STOP NOW and KEEP READING.


Did you know the active ingredient in Drano and other conventional drain cleaners is sodium hydroxide, otherwise known as caustic soda or lye? While the substance is not considered a pollutant, sodium hydroxide is an irritant that can burn skin and aggravate the nose, throat and respiratory airways[1].


A better option to putting chemicals down the drain would be to use a plunger, a drain snake (made from an old wire hanger) or a handful of baking soda mixed with a half cup of vinegar followed with boiling water, this typically does the trick!


Fighting the Impossible


Even top of the line strainers won’t stop every coffee ground or apple seed from going down the drain, but we need to do our best. Sinks are not trash cans and weren’t designed for this purpose. Clogged pipes and backed-up sewers are expensive repairs.  It doesn't matter how much hot water or Drano you pour down after it. Sooner or later it solidifies. Metro Vancouver residents spend $2 million every year to repair damage caused by grease. And that's not counting the costs to individual homeowners when their pipes get blocked.[2]


With the new Wastewater Treatment Project currently being built to serve the core municipalities of Saanich, Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, View Royal, Langford and Colwood, and the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, it’s important to start developing good habits NOW so we can keep the operations and maintenance costs low.


Micro-Actions For October


We all need to do our part to help keep the wastewater process running smoothly. The next time you’re at you’re sink THINK, and consider how you can apply these suggestions and support a smooth running system:


  • Scrape food residues from plates, pots & pans before washing
  • Never put coffee grounds, eggshells or kitty litter down the drain or toilet
  • Use your garbage disposal sparingly
  • Put fruit & vegetables peels in the ‘organics’ bin
  • Collect excess fats & oils in a jar. Once settled, scoop into organics bin.
  • Dispose of household hazardous waste at the Hartland Landfill, HHW Collection Centre. The materials are then packed into containers and transported to the lower mainland and sent to the appropriate facilities for treatment or disposal.




[1] https://www.thoughtco.com/eco-friendly-drain-cleaners-1203933
[2] http://www.metrovancouver.org/grease

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Addressing Homelessness in Saanich

People experiencing homelessness, including those who were living at the Regina Park encampment in Saanich, will have earlier access to safe shelter spaces in Victoria starting in October 2018.
Overnight shelter will be available every night, regardless of whether an extreme weather alert has been issued.

In response to the urgent need for shelter spaces in Saanich and Victoria, the Province has partnered with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre to provide expanded services... to make sure more people have a warm place to stay overnight.

Located at 231 Regina Ave. in Victoria, the 25-bed shelter will be open nightly from 9 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. from Oct. 1, 2018, until March 31, 2019. This is normally an extreme-weather shelter location, but is being opened early due to urgent need. The friendship centre will provide shuttle services from predetermined pick up points, meals, showers and access to laundry facilities on site.
BC Housing is working with other non-profit partners to expedite the opening of other winter shelters as soon as possible.

 Outreach teams will continue to help connect people experiencing homelessness with housing and support services, such as income assistance and mental health services.

Quick Facts:
To help address homelessness in B.C., the Province is partnering with 22 municipalities to build more than 2,000 modular homes with 24/7 support services.

Through the new Building BC: Supportive Housing Fund, an additional 2,500 new supportive homes will be delivered throughout the province. The District of Saanich has been offered funding through this program.

 The Province is currently developing a homelessness action plan informed by the results of the 2018 homeless counts, the comprehensive consultation on the Poverty Reduction Strategy and engagements with experts on homelessness from around British Columbia.

Learn More:

Read Homes for B.C., government’s 30-point plan to address housing affordability for British Columbians: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2018/homesbc/2018_Homes_For_BC.pdf

To learn more about the Province’s emergency shelter program, visit: www.bchousing.org/…/homelessness-…/emergency-shelter-program

To see a map of permanent and temporary shelters in B.C., visit: www.bchousing.org/Options/Emergency_Housing/Map

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

On behalf of my colleague Minister Selina Robinson, I am honored to announce today that affordable rental homes for seniors, adults with disabilities, and families are now under construction in Saanich. Thanks to a partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the Capital Region Housing Corporation.

Westview, located at 3816 Carey Rd, will provide 73 affordable rental homes for people in Saanich and the Capital Regional District. The four-storey building will contain 11 studio apartments, 38 one-bedroom apartments, 20 two-bedroom apartments and four three bedroom apartments.

I’m thrilled to have these homes break ground in Saanich. By investing in more affordable projects like Westview, our government is working hard so people can live and stay in their communities, close to family and where they work. Our government will continue working to fix problems and get results for people, to create a better future for everyone.

I know these homes will enrich the lives of those who live here, and the community for many years to come.

More information:

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Monthly Micro-Actions: No Excuse for Single-Use

Written by: Laska Pare

 According to Zero Waste Canada, coffee is the most common beverage after water for adults.[1] Whether you drink coffee, tea or a Triple-Venti-Half Sweet-Caramel Macchiato, most of it is served in single-use paper cups. We all want quality and crave convenience. But what about saving money, spending less and reducing landfill waste?

Did you know:
  • Disposable paper cups contain 5% polyurethane plastic, making composting and recycling of disposable cups extremely tricky
  • 70% of the world’s paper comes from diminishing forests, not from plantations or recycling
  • Very little recycled paper is used to make disposable cups due to health risk concerns
** “Did you know FACTS provided by ecoffee cup
A huge problem with “to go” is where the coffee cup is travelling and what we do with it when we no longer want it. Recycling across BC is dynamic and site specific, and this can lead to confusion and frustration when you're trying to do the right thing. The average number of steps someone will carry garbage is twelve paces[2]. As much as everyone would like to be an environmental steward, many consumers are unwilling to carry the cup until they find a recycling, composting or disposal options, and providing these options on city streets, in malls, at beaches, and in parks has a cost.
While most communities have “to go” options for take-out, not every community has the options to deal with the discards. But as consumers, it is the decisions we make that will make a difference.

Micro-Actions For September

No. 1: Support local businesses who offer green alternatives. Some local businesses in Greater Victoria offer low-impact, compostable cups.

No. 2: Many municipalities DO accept paper cups in the curbside recycling collection program as containers (not as paper). But it’s rare the discarded cup travels back to the consumer’s home to be placed in the recycling.

No. 3: Get a reusable mug! If we really want to avoid creating waste, we have to make conscious changes in our behaviours. Using a reusable mug is a great start and a micro way you can make a difference. In this video, which aired on Shaw TV earlier this year, I explore the single-use cup issue in Greater Victoria and talk about how you can contribute to a sustainable future.

As consumers, it is us who need to lead the way to reducing and reusing. Now realizing the impact of disposable cups we have to be the ones to create change.

[1] http://zerowastecanada.ca/the-brewing-problem-of-the-to-go-coffee-cup/
[2] http://zerowastecanada.ca/the-brewing-problem-of-the-to-go-coffee-cup/

Friday, August 31, 2018

It's the last day of August...

It's the last day of August which for me feels like the last day of Summer. This Summer has definitely had its challenges and it has also had absolute successes. I was incredibly fortunate over the past few months to travel in our province meeting with farmers and producers. Our agriculture sector always makes time to have a chat and to let me know what's going on.

We are now moving into the Fall which will see us head into the Legislature on October 1st and I'm really excited about the opportunities and work that is ahead!

Have I told you how thrilled I am to be your Minister of Agriculture?

Organic food and beverage products sold in B.C. must be certified

As of Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, people can buy British Columbia food products and beverages that are marketed as organic with more confidence, knowing that the products have been certified through an accredited provincial or federal program.

“People are more engaged then ever with how their food is grown and processed,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Requiring certification for the use of the term ‘organic’ for the sales of B.C. foods and beverages means producers... are able to offer British Columbians an increased level of certainty about the farming and processing practices of their products.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Joint statement on wildfires in BC

Federal Agriculture Minister MacAulay and I issued a joint statement on British Columbia wildfires on Friday.

I feel confident that Minister MacAulay and I will continue to work closely together as we support ranchers and farmers in the face of this challenging wildfire season.

From: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Statement
August 23, 2018 – Nanaimo, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay, and Minister of Agriculture for British Columbia, Lana Popham, issued the following statement today in response to the British Columbia wildfires.
“The Governments of Canada and British Columbia are working closely together to ensure the safety of Canadians during this difficult time. In addition to other actions being taken by both our governments, officials are monitoring the wildfires and the potential impacts on farms.
“A suite of federal-provincial-territorial business risk management programs is available to help farmers manage risks that threaten the viability of their farm, including disaster situations. We encourage farmers to participate in these programs to help ensure they can access support during these difficult times.
“Having been farmers ourselves, our thoughts go out to the farm families who have been affected by the wildfires. In British Columbia and across Canada, our hardworking farmers are the backbone of our economy. We are committed to supporting them at this difficult time as they work hard to get their safe, high-quality products to our kitchen tables.”

Friday, August 24, 2018

Royal BC Museum Macabee Fossil Event

I had a lovely time speaking at the Royal BC Museums unveiling of a collection of Fossils donated by John Leahy and family. John was a teacher in Kamloops and his collection will now help spark an interest in future paleontologists. An amazing example of BC Heritage right here in Victoria! The Royal BC Museum has gratefully accepted this donation of the world's largest collection from the McAbee Fossil Beds. The collection is comprised of over 18,000 pieces.

What would your choice be for a “Provincial Fossil?” Vote now until the end of November!
Add your vote at bit.ly/2o336Wv

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Provincial State of Emergency Declared

Our government has declared a state of emergency to make sure we have all of the resources necessary to keep British Columbians safe.

With over 560 fires now burning, BC continues to experience heightened wildfire activity, and there are over 3300 personnel now supporting wildfire response efforts. My deepest gratitude and appreciation to everyone who is working to contain the wildfires and caring for those who have been affected.

To prepare your farm for emergencies, start here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/business-market-development/emergency-preparedness

No matter where you are in the province, please remain vigilant – it’s imperative that we each do our part to prevent wildfires. Please click here to read the full news release from earlier today

Friday, August 10, 2018

Nuts about Hazelnuts!!

Many of you will know how much I've been chatting up hazelnut production in our Province over the past 10 years! This Summer I was able to launch a hazelnut revitalization project from my Ministry with hopes to relaunch an industry that has so much potential. 

Guess who noticed my enthusiasm? 

A company you will know as Ferrero who makes many sweet treats including Ferrero Rocher chocolates, Nutella and Kinder Surprise! Hazelnuts are very important to their operations and so today I met with Jorge Acevedo from Ferrero Luxembourg and Barb Yates who works for Ferrero as a Hazelnut Agronomist. Looking forward to our follow up meetings to come!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Report from Committee for Revitalizing the ALR and ALC Received!

I’m happy to share that the independent Minister’s Advisory Committee for Revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve and Agricultural Land Commission has submitted its interim report!

I’m so thankful to the members of the Advisory Committee for their hard work, and I’m looking forward to reviewing their recommendations. Committee members did significant work to engage British Columbians in the development of these recommendations, and this report is an important contribution to the conversation we’ve been having in our province to build a strong and resilient agricultural sector for generations to come.

The committee identified 13 recommendations for legislative and regulatory change, 4 recommendations for action to protect the ALR, and 14 key issues still under consideration for its final report.

The committee also submitted a second “what we heard” report that summarizes the findings from stakeholder meetings and public engagement that occurred over multiple months. You can access both documents by clicking here! 


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Great Times at Saanich Sunday Farmers' Market!

I had so much fun at the Saanich Sunday Farmers' Market this past weekend! Not only did I end up with a big bag of amazing produce and goods from the market (including the bag itself!) but we also passed out some #BuyBC swag as well! If you haven't been able to check it out this year there are still 3 more market days left this season - I highly recommend you stop by!


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Awesome News for Agricultural Innovation!

It was so awesome to be at Kwantlen Polytechnic University to announce one of the coolest things ever: a new research farm and seed lab!!

Our government is investing $670,000 to fund world-class research and innovation that will help local organic farmers grow sustainable and healthy food options for British Columbians to enjoy.

This funding will help farmers develop better seeds, crops and growing methods. More importantly, it will lead to more healthy, nutritious food that’s grown right here in BC and produced sustainably!

The research farm is going to be 8.1 hectares – bigger than 15 football fields put side-by-side! I truly can’t wait to see the amazing work comes out of this new facility.

For even more details you can visit the following link: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018JTT0035-001493