Friday, February 15, 2019

Fun Activities for Family Day!


Pssst…. Family Day is coming up this Monday! Not sure how to spend the day? There are a bunch of amazing things in and around Saanich to take advantage of!

The BC Government is funding free admission to one of my favourite places ever: The Royal BC Museum! AND they have a new Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit that just opened, and you can visit any time from 10 am to 5 pm!

The Arts Centre at Cedar Hill Rec is also having a free Family Day Festival from 11 am to 3 pm with a wide variety of activities led by staff and guests from the Victoria art community!

And for good measure, Saanich Commonwealth Place also has a bunch of activities, including fun swims from 10-12 and from 1-4 with a special family rate.

No matter how you choose to spend the day I hope it’s filled with rest and relaxation!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Happy Year of the Pig!

It was bright, brisk and beautiful in downtown Victoria today!! I was joined by my colleagues Carole James, Rob Fleming and Mitzi Dean as we visited folks in Chinatown and celebrated the Year of the Pig at the Lion Dance Parade! Thanks to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and all the amazing volunteers for their work in putting this wonderful event on!







Monday, February 4, 2019

Monthly Micro-Action: Reuse, Repurpose and Get Your Craft On!

*MLA’s note* I’m so pleased to introduce Laska ParĂ© - one of our amazing constituents in Saanich South, and a monthly guest blogger on my website. Laska provides tips on subtle changes we can make day-to-day to live more sustainably. Read on below to find out more! -Lana

I love crafting. It’s an opportunity to focus all my attention on a project in a quiet, contained environment and create a masterpiece! It’s also the perfect opportunity to get my imagination and inspiration pumps flowing without breaking a sweat. Though I do love a good workout, sometimes you just need to create something with your hands and feel really good about it.

When I started leaning into a zero-waste lifestyle, I became more conscious of a product’s life-cycle. While diverting material from the landfill is a good thing, I questioned some of the materials in my craft kit and was worried these materials were doing more harm to the environment and I would have to STOP crafting.

Cue sad emoji. ☹

Instead of seeing this as a set back, I decided to utilize my environmental awareness to come up with unique craft creations.

Turns out, there are a lot of materials I can use without producing waste, and here are a few suggestions:

1. Use materials found in nature like shells, seed pods, leaves, nuts, dried flowers and pebbles.

2. Use new materials that are made from nature like jute, cotton, cellophane, cardboard, metal and glass.

3. Reuse and repurpose materials obtained second-hand.

You’d be surprised how much of a rush you get out of finding something natural and turning it into something completely different that looks expensive. Behold my most recent creation, a Beachwood wreath!


Micro-Actions For February

Now it’s your turn to experiment! Both children and adults can benefit from crafting – science indicates there are numerous health and mental benefits – and collecting materials directly from nature is one way to do that. It also helps you avoid single-use packaging, which can be tricky when making purchases from a store.

The best news?

You don’t have to compromise your crafting passion or the environment’s health.

Laska

Friday, February 1, 2019

Tackling the Root Causes of Poverty


Recently, I’ve had conversations with my constituents in Saanich South about the causes of poverty in a province that’s as lucky as ours. After years of neglect under previous governments, it’s shocking to learn that our province has the second-worst poverty rate in Canada. And even sadder is that 20 percent of those living in poverty are children.

These are more than just numbers – they’re peoples lives.

Unfortunately, for sixteen years life got harder under the previous government. Housing prices skyrocketed, calls to raise welfare rates were ignored, and life became less affordable.

We're doing our level best to change that. Last fall, our New Democrat government passed historic legislation that set bold poverty reduction targets. We’ve taken significant action already to reduce poverty. We’ve announced record funding for affordable housing and childcare, have over 2,000 modular homes under construction, and cut MSP premiums in half.

We know that poverty can negatively impact health and education outcomes, creating a negative feedback loop that can be incredibly difficult to break. But by investing in children and their families, we’re working to break the cycle that keeps people impoverished from one generation to the next. When you invest in children, you lift up their entire family – and their future.

We know there’s more work to do. Our Poverty Reduction Strategy will be released in the coming weeks, and we’ve committed to reducing the overall poverty rate by 25 percent, and the child poverty rate by 50 percent, in the next five years.

For the first time, BC has targets and timelines in place to hold government accountable for reducing poverty. That’s a huge and important step forward. The work has only just begun, but I’m proud of the work our government is doing to create a more equitable province for all British Columbians.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Fantastic News for Fair PharmaCare!



One of the things I’ve heard too often from families is that needed prescriptions were going unfilled because Fair PharmaCare deductibles were too high. That’s why I’m proud that our government has made the first ever changes to Fair PharaCare deductibles and co-payments since the program was created 15 years ago!

This is a long-overdue step that will improve the lives and health of folks in Saanich South, and BCers across the province. We’re investing $105 million so that households earning up to $30,000 in net income no longer have a deductible, and households earning under $45,000 now have a lowered deductible as well. Deductibles are also completely eliminated for seniors born before 1940 with an annual net income up to $14,000.

Frankly, no one should have to make the decision between their family’s health and putting food on the table or buying school supplies. With these new changes families will save more throughout the year, so that they can focus on the things that really matter.  

To learn more about Fair PharmaCare – including the enrollment process, which is super easy! – visit the following link: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-drug-coverage/pharmacare-for-bc-residents/who-we-cover/fair-pharmacare-plan

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Monthly Micro-Action: Plan Ahead

*MLA’s note* I’m so happy to introduce Laska ParĂ©! 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  
I used to see carrying my recycling to the curb as an opportunity to look at my waste and consider alternatives. However, recently I’ve found myself noting how many things in the blue box aren’t mine. As a single woman living by herself, it was easy to say ‘no’ to unnecessary purchases. But now that I have a partner and a dog in the home, I find myself saying ‘yes’ to sales on chicken breasts, even if it includes more packaging.

#ZeroWasteFail

So my circumstances have changed and I’m no longer the only planeteer under my roof. But that doesn’t mean I can’t grow my squad! After all, we all need to do our part to keep the pale blue dot we call home healthy. 


In looking at my waste, I realized that no one person was to blame, and most of it was the result of poor planning.

I sat my family down and noted my waste observations and what we could do to reduce not only our waste but how we could save time and money.

We decided to do a meal plan and plan all our meals for the week.

The result?

Not only did this give us a clear outline of our week – allowing for more productive days and relaxing evenings after work – we saved money, we saved time (taking less trips to the grocery store) and could ensure each of our meals were wholesome and nourishing.

Micro-Actions For January

Plan ahead!

Even if your life isn’t conducive to the zero-waste lifestyle (yet), use the New Year as an opportunity get into the habit of planning ahead. Whether that means packing your lunch for work, building in more travel time if you choose to walk instead of drive, or making sure to pack reusable bags with you for the grocery – learning to anticipate your needs, and taking the time to do so will help you manage your time better and be more organized!

Laska

Monday, January 14, 2019

One of my favourite events of the New Year is coming up!

It's not all about chucking frozen salmon in a creek, but I'm not going to lie, that part is really fun!
It's a great experience and it's exceptionally important work!  
On Saturday January 26th, 2019 at 10:30 am the Mount Douglas Park Society is hosting it's seasonal salmon carcass transplant!    
Thanks to the Howard English Hatchery volunteers at Goldstream who will bring approximately 100 salmon carcasses - partially thawed! - which will be tossed into 
Douglas Creek. 
This transplant mimics the results of a large return of salmon to Douglas Creek. The carcasses will decompose into the aquatic ecosystem delivering marine derived nutrients to riparian vegetation and invertebrate populations thus setting up the system for productive trophic webs. 
Additionally, there will be transplanting of both Coho and chum fry!
Also Saanich Parks will have plants ready for riparian restoration planting. 
Wear rain gear, or old clothing, and rubber boots if you have them. they will supply cotton gloves. 
This is a great event for children, but the creek banks are muddy, slippery and steep and the creek can be dangerous at high flows.  Each child under 16 must be accompanied by their parents. 

Thanks to everyone for all of their hard work and commitment! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!



Wishing you, your family, and your friends a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019! I'm looking forward to seeing what this year will have in store for us! 

-Lana