Thursday, January 16, 2020

Hardest Working MLA of the Year

What a great way to start 2020!

My sincerest gratitude to the Times Colonist’s readership for this award.  I’m so grateful to be recognized for my efforts in this way. 

Helping people is the top priority of this government, and of my community office. We are working hard to make life more affordable, more fair, and better for British Columbians.

Whether we’re tackling poverty, un-affordability, the housing crisis, affordable child care, climate change, or moving the dial on medical service wait times and finding primary care doctors – we are working hard.

On affordable housing – our work is starting to take shape with 20,000 new homes completed or underway in nearly 80 communities throughout B.C., and more in the planning stage.

On climate action – B.C. is leading the country. Our CleanBC plan is beginning to create real change. As an example, our government’s incentives to help people move to zero-emission vehicles are being embraced throughout the province. We’ve also passed new legislation calling for a phase-out of gas-powered light-duty vehicles by 2040.

On affordability – by now most people in BC have paid their last MSP premium – ever. The elimination of MSP Premiums and the new B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit is the largest middle-class tax reduction in a generation.

Our B.C. government has also increased investments into the Ministry of Agriculture by 15% in order to help farmers farm and to protect farmland for future generations. As the Minister of Agriculture I have developed new programs to increase access to B.C.-grown and -produced foods in health care facilities. This not only improves the freshness and quality of the meals served, it better supports the patients’ experience and outcomes – and the livelihood of B.C.’s farmers and producers.

And in the process of doing all this – and more, our government has eliminated B.C.’s operating debt and posted budget surpluses. We also have the lowest unemployment rate across the country – for two years straight. B.C. continues to be the only province with a Triple AAA rating with all three international credit rating agencies.

I know very well that much more needs to be done – and that is why I am so excited for the future. We are just getting started! It’s a privilege to be the MLA for Saanich South and to serve as the Minister of Agriculture. Thank you for the opportunity – and for the recognition!

Warmest Regards,