Tuesday, May 4, 2021


Exciting news for Elk Lake and Beaver Lake!

Our government is partnering with the Capital Regional District and moving ahead with a new oxygenation system. In recent years, both lakes regularly suffered from blue-green algae blooms, which produce toxins harmful to humans and pets when ingested and can lead to lethal liver damage in dogs.

The new system will help reduce these cyanobacteria blooms and improve the health of fish, water quality, and habitats in the lakes and downstream. Our efforts to improve the lakes’ health and function follow through on commitments to step up protection of fish habitats.


Moving forward our lakes will be safe and enjoyable for everyone from local families and freshwater fishers, to triathletes and rowers - now and for generations to come.





Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Did last week's warm weather get you looking for something to do out in our community? Check out our list of south island farmers markets!

Esquimalt Farmers Market

  • Archie Browning Sports Centre rear parking lot, 1151 Esquimalt Rd
  • April 1st – September 16th
  • Thursday: 4:30pm – 7:30pm

Sooke Country Market

  • John Phillips Memorial Park
  • April 24th – October 9th
  • Saturday: 10am – 2pm

Goldstream Station Market

  • Bryn Maur Rd at Goldstream Ave
  • May 8th – October
  • Saturday: 10am – 2pm

James Bay Community Market

  • Superior St at Menzies St
  • May 1st – October 2nd
  • Saturday: 9am – 3pm

North Saanich Farm Market

  • St. Johns United Church garden, 10990 West Saanich Rd
  • June 5th – Thanksgiving
  • Saturday: 9:30am - 11:30pm

Moss Street Market

  • Moss St – Fairfield
  • May – October (Summer Market)
  • Saturday: 10am – 2pm

Sidney Street Market

  • Mary Winspear Centre
  • May 9th – October 10th
  • Sunday: 11am – 3pm

Oaklands Sunset Market

  • Oaklands Community Centre #1-2827 Belmont Ave
  • June 30th – September 1st
  • Wednesday: 4:30pm – 8:30pm
As always, please refrain from non-essential travel outside of your health authority, and visit www.gov.bc.ca/covidtravel to see the full details of current travel restrictions. 



Friday, April 23, 2021

 


Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced new travel restrictions
 
These restrictions are about keeping people safe and healthy. As we continue to roll out our vaccination program, limiting non-essential travel will help us to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the province.
 
Most British Columbians have been working hard to stop the spread of COVID-19 by following public health advice to stay in their communities and avoiding non-essential travel. 
 
But we need to do more to discourage travel.
 
This order will limit travel into and out of three regional zones in the province:
  1. Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley
  2. Vancouver Island
  3. Northern and Interior (this includes Hope and the Bella Coola Valley and Central Coast)
The order is designed to discourage and stop recreational and leisure travel – not punish people. The order does not restrict essential travel between regional zones – including for work, for school and to help care for a sick loved one.
 
As Dr. Henry says, staying in our local communities means we are not going to and from COVID hotspots and inadvertently bringing the virus along with us.
 
I encourage everyone to visit www.gov.bc.ca/covidtravel to see the full details of the travel restrictions.
 
My office is available to help answer your questions by phone at 250-479-4154 or email at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca.


Thank you for doing your part to help keep BC safe.
Sincerely,   




Thursday, April 22, 2021


 

Since day one of the pandemic it has been our government’s priority to protect the health of individuals and communities. That’s why we’re investing in healthcare to get us through the pandemic safely and strengthen the services that people will count on for years to come.

While our most immediate focus has been on the vaccine rollout, Budget 2021 is about long term improvements to our healthcare system. We’re hiring thousands of new healthcare workers, opening more urgent and primary care centres, and reducing the backlog for diagnostic imaging and surgeries. 

Our government is also expanding our response to the overdose crisis and working to improve access to mental healthcare. Given the devastating uptick in overdose deaths this past year and the general decline in people’s mental health due to isolation and uncertainty, mental healthcare needs special attention. We’re solidifying overdose prevention supports, creating new treatment and recovery beds, and improving outpatient support. 


For more information on Budget 2021 please visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FIN0023-000744 




Tuesday, April 20, 2021


Recently, our government unveiled the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant. While stronger public health measures are necessary in keeping our communities safe, we also know that they have taken a toll on many businesses.
 
Affected businesses, including restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, gyms, and fitness centres can receive up to $10,000 in one-time funding to help with expenses, as well as unexpected costs that resulted from the restrictions. Applications for the Circuit Breaker Business Relief Grant are now open, and we encourage all eligible businesses to apply at www.gov.bc.ca/business-relief
Through a simple yes/no check mark application, a business simply declares that they were affected by the recent provincial health orders, are registered as a B.C. business, demonstrate majority ownership and operations in BC, and pay taxes in BC. 

BC entered this pandemic as an economic leader in Canada, and we are committed to helping small businesses as they adapt and grow.

As always, if you have any questions or need assistance with any provincial matter please reach out to my office. Our email is Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca and our phone number is 250-479-4154.







Friday, April 16, 2021


Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home, but the BC Liberals let the housing crisis spiral out of control, and the pandemic has only made things worse.

That’s why we’re investing $2 billion into the HousingHub program so that affordable housing developers can now have access to low-interest loans in exchange for passing savings on to middle-income families. The HousingHub program will create thousands of new homes and since the money will be paid back, it will be re-invested over and over again increasing our supple of the “missing middle” housing stock.

Our government is taking a comprehensive approach to tackling the housing crisis and this investment is just one way we are creating housing to meet the full spectrum of need in this province. Right now, more than 26,000 new homes are complete or underway in B.C. for people with a wide range of incomes.





Monday, April 12, 2021


 
Last Spring, from my constituency office, I was able to develop a restaurant guide for eateries in Saanich South. This guide was delivered to each household in Saanich South, about 22,000 households, to encourage folks to support our local restaurant industry that was suffering heavily because of the pandemic.

Many residents commented, saying that they had no idea we had so many restaurants were in Saanich South. They let me know that they were going to make extra efforts to support the best they could. I’m happy to say we are currently working on Volume 2 of our Saanich South Restaurant and Eatery menu! It will be out in a month and delivered to our constituents homes.
Thanks to everyone who did take-out and pick-up last Spring. We know the drill my friends, and together we must come together once again to show these important businesses lots of love!

Every bit helps!

If you are a restaurant or eatery in my constituency and want to make sure you are included in our guide, please contact our office by emailing Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca or calling 250-479-4154



Thursday, April 8, 2021

Families on Vancouver Island will soon have access to nearly 340 new licensed child care spaces as part of the Province's ongoing commitment to increasing access to child care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond!

The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund is supporting nine projects to create 336 new licensed child care spaces in Greater Victoria, Sooke, Tahsis and North Saanich. These spaces are part of the fastest creation of child care spaces in B.C.'s history and were part of the September 2020 milestone that marked more than 20,000 new spaces funded throughout the province in just over two years.

Right here in Saanich South the 
Greater Victoria School District 61 is continuing its partnership with the Vancouver Island Kids Klub Centre Society to create 40 new child care spaces at Lake Hill Elementary – 16 spaces for children aged three years to kindergarten and 24 school-age spaces. Working closely with the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children, the new spaces will be fully accessible. The Kids Klub Brown Bag program will provide free daily lunches to support vulnerable children in the Victoria, Saanich and Sooke School Districts. The spaces are expected to open in July 2022.
Learn more: 
For information on health and safety standards for child care during COVID-19, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/ChildCareCovid-19Response
Child care factsheet: https://news.gov.bc.ca/18430
To learn more about the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare/newspacesfund

For more about Childcare BC, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/childcare
For a French translation, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021CFD0020-000340#translations



Sunday, April 4, 2021


Happy Easter everyone!


Print out the image below for some Easter colouring fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2021


I’d like to share the latest news about our vaccine rollout. Starting in April, front-line priority workers can receive their first dose of vaccine. This includes first responders, K to 12 educational staff, child care staff, grocery store workers and more. You can see the 
full list here. People in these groups will get more information through their employers, and do not need to call the health authority.
 
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable due to existing medical conditions will also be eligible to receive their first dose of vaccine in the coming weeks. People in this group will receive a letter telling them how to book an appointment, beginning March 29th. You can find more information and the list of conditions here.
 
Vaccine booking by age groups continues ahead of schedule. As of Friday, March 26th at 12pm, all seniors who are 74+ years old and Indigenous seniors who are 65+ years old can call 1-833-348-4787 to book an appointment. Please go to gov.bc.ca/bcseniorsfirst for more information. 
 
Today we announced that seniors in long-term care will soon be able to have frequent, regular opportunities for social visits from loved ones, with safety measures in place. Read more about this here.
 
B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan continues to save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19, making us all safer. As always, if you have questions or need any assistance with provincial COVID-19 supports, or any other provincial issue, please reach out. My office can be reached at 
 lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca or 250-479-4154. 


 

Monday, March 29, 2021

 




Sunday, March 21st was the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. On Monday, New Democrat MLAs moved a motion to reaffirm our commitment to combat racism in all its forms. During the pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in anti-Asian and anti-Indigenous racism, and a worldwide focus on anti-Black racism. We must do more to address systemic discrimination and hatred in this province.

In light of this commitment, we announced a new anti-racism information campaign that encourages British Columbians to examine their own biases and start conversations. The campaign features illustrations by B.C. artists who are Indigenous, Black, and people of colour. To learn more visit antiracist.gov.bc.ca.

About the Artist: 











Thursday, March 25, 2021

It has been more than a year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Let’s remember the toll this virus has taken in our province and around the world. Our deepest gratitude goes to our essential  and frontline workers— you have kept us safe, thank you! 

As Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, I have been focused on improving food security and keeping British Columbians fed with local, fresh food. Part of this effort has been keeping temporary foreign workers safe and healthy by ensuring they have a safe place to properly quarantine upon arrival in Canada.
We’re pleased to be extending our successful quarantine program for the thousands of temporary foreign workers who will help grow and harvest food for British Columbians this year.

In today’s Globe and Mail, there is more information on this work with Mexico's Consul-General Berenice Diaz Ceballos saying, “the program in B.C. is a model for the rest of the country”.

Our program provides peace of mind for communities, farmers and workers, ensuring we prevent the spread of COVID-19. 




Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Thursday, March 18th marked one year since a state of emergency was declared in B.C. in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an important reminder of all that we have gone through as a province, and the work that is still ahead to build a recovery for everyone.

That’s why our government announced the expansion of the Launch Online Grant Program this week. These grants will allow small businesses to build or expand their e-commerce capacity. This means more online stores, online bookings and local products delivered to more people throughout the province. This program will help small businesses, particularly those run by Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, to reach more customers, grow their business, and continue their post-pandemic recovery.

We know that this pandemic has impacted people in many different ways. This week, we also announced the largest-ever increase to income assistance, disability assistance, and the senior’s supplement. Among the many concrete benefits, those on income and disability assistance will receive an extra $175 each month – a permanent change that continues our poverty reduction strategy. Supporting British Columbians is key to a strong, sustainable economic recovery, and this is a major step in that direction.

I’d also like to share a progress update on our vaccine rollout. So far, we have administered over 444,000 doses. Starting Friday, March 19th at 12pm, we encourage seniors who are 80+ years old, as well as Indigenous seniors who are 65+ years old to call Island Health at  1-833-348-4787 to book a vaccine appointment. Please go to www.gov.bc.ca/bcseniorsfirst for more information, or reach out to my office if you have additional questions at lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca or 250-479-4154.

 




Thursday, March 18, 2021

It’s Agriculture Safety Week! I want to thank all the hardworking producers contributing to B.C.’s food security! I urge producers to look for ways to promote health and safety at work.


For more info visit: agsafetyweek.ca




Tuesday, March 16, 2021

 

Communities play such an important role in our lives. Whether it’s the everyday services we count on or the support and solidarity in times of crisis, when our communities are stronger and more resilient, we all benefit.

Over the last week we’ve taken several steps to support communities across B.C., so they can better support people.

 In order to support people experiencing homelessness, our government is providing $100 million to the Strengthening Communities’ Services Program. Local governments, First Nations, and regional districts will be able to apply for grants to meet people’s immediate health and safety needs on the ground, including temporary shelter spaces, outreach teams, and peer-based clean-up activities. This builds on our investments in housing and our response to homelessness throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to addressing homelessness in every community across the province, so that people are safe and have the housing, resources, and support they need.

We know that rural communities are unique, and when it comes to economic recovery, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That is why we are helping rural businesses and communities to find the route to economic recovery that works for them. Thanks to an investment of $4.5 million, advisory services will be launched in rural communities across the province, to provide economic advice and support to businesses and communities. Local businesses will be able to get professional advice on how to pivot their operations, and communities will have access to resources to plan their economic recovery. This means people in rural B.C. can continue to enjoy strong communities and the local businesses they love.

With spring around the corner, we also announced over $8.5 million in funding to help local governments across the province to mitigate flood risks. Each community will be using the funding according to their local needs, for projects such as mapping flood plains, training staff to set up emergency operations centres, planning evacuation routes, or structural flood mitigation. These projects mean people will be safer if flooding occurs in their community.
Sincerely, 


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

 

While parts of our province are still seeing snow, summer is not really all that far away! This year more than ever, we are all looking forward to spending time in the great outdoors. In B.C. we are lucky to having some truly beautiful places to camp, hike and explore. I know many of you are eager to start planning your summer adventures, and on that front, I have some excellent news to share.

The Discover Camping reservation system for BC Parks will open on March 8. People will be able to reserve a campsite for up to two months in advance, with a rolling two-month window. That means that on March 8, you’ll be able to book for dates up to May 8. And if you are planning a trip for the May long weekend (May 21-24), you can start booking on March 21.

To prepare for this exciting day, the reservation system has been scaled up with increased capacity to handle all the enthusiasm of B.C. campers. The call centre will also have increased staff for those who would like to make bookings over the phone.

Of course, we all still need to follow the public health guidance, and everyone is asked to pick camping destinations close to home for this summer. For that reason, British Columbia residents will have priority access to camping reservations for the first two months. People from outside of B.C. will be able to book campsites starting July 8, for the remainder of the season.

This week, we also announced that people in over 100 rural and Indigenous communities will soon have access to high-speed internet and better cellular service. As part of our economic recovery plan, we are helping ensure more people can use video conferencing, participate in online learning, and work remotely. This will make a real difference for people and businesses, at a time when virtual connections are more important than ever.



Monday, March 8, 2021

Monday, March 8th was International Women’s Day. On this day, and every day that follows, we recognize the work of women, girls, two-spirit, and non-binary people who lead the way towards a more equitable future for our province. For many Indigenous women, women of colour, women with disabilities and people in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, the pandemic has only heightened the inequalities that still exist. That’s why we are re-committing ourselves to breaking down barriers so that everyone can plan for a brighter future. 

 


Happy International Women’s Day and thank-you to all the incredible women who came before us, making changes along the way!





Thursday, March 4, 2021

There is light at the end of the tunnel. I am so excited that B.C. is heading into the next stage of the COVID-19 Vaccine Roll out Plan. During this phase approximately 400,000 people will be immunized from March to mid-April, including seniors, Indigenous peoples and people who live and work in independent living.

You do not need to call to book a vaccine appointment if you're:

A senior or high-risk person living in independent living or senior’s supportive housing 
Staff in independent living or senior’s supportive housing
Home-care support clients and staff

Your health authority will reach out to you or your housing operator to book your appointment for you or organize a mobile clinic. 

Vaccine appointments for seniors

If you're a senior born in 1941 or earlier or an Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) person born in 1956 or earlier and you don't live in independent living, you will have to call to book a vaccine appointment over the phone.












When you can call is based on your age

I'm born in 1931 or earlier (90+) or I'm Indigenous and born in 1956 or earlier (65+)
Please call the week of March 8.
I'm born in 1936 or earlier (85+)
Please call the week of March 15. 
I'm born in 1941 or earlier (80+)
Please call the week of March 22.

Getting ready to call

When you call your health authority, you'll be asked for:

First and last name
Date of birth 
Postal code
Personal Health Number

You can find your Personal Health Number on the back of your B.C. driver's licence, BC Services Card or CareCard. If you do not have a Personal Health Number, you can still receive the vaccine.

We'll also ask you for contact information:

An email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages. 

We will never ask you for your SIN, driver's licence number or banking and credit card details.


All call centres open March 8, and are open seven days a week from 7am-7pm (PST). The first day appointments are available is March 15.

If you live in Saanich South please call 1-833-348-4787

All information can be found at:

Talk to a Service BC agent about non-health related information and services related to COVID-19. Service is available 7:30 am to 8 pm. Call: 1-888-COVID19.
As always my office is here to help at lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca or call 250-479-4154. 




Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Everyone is invited to comment on proposed safety improvements to the Patricia Bay Highway (Highway 17) northbound at Keating Cross Road.

Comments can be made on the proposed project until March 24, 2021.
Every hour, hundreds of drivers need to turn left across heavy traffic on Highway 17 to get onto Keating Cross Road, causing safety issues and traffic bottlenecks. As well, with projected population growth and planned industrial and commercial development in the area, traffic congestion is expected to increase.

To address these challenges, government is proposing a new "flyover" overpass from the Pat Bay Highway northbound to Keating Cross Road westbound, eliminating the left turn across highway traffic onto Keating Cross Road. The project will also include a realigned southbound on-ramp to the Pat Bay highway.
The project design will support future plans for bus rapid transit on the Pat Bay Highway.

Pedestrians and those who travel with the help of a mobility aid will benefit from new sidewalks on Keating Cross Road. These proposed design elements will make active transportation safer and easier for people in their daily lives.
The proposed flyover overpass project and associated upgrades will allow people to travel this busy corridor more safely and efficiently, while helping to promote regional economic growth.

The South Island Transportation Strategy, released by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in September 2020, identified advancing work on the Keating Cross Road/Highway 17 project as a priority to improve safety and reliability.

A detailed discussion guide and story map for the Highway 17 Keating Flyover Project is available online.

To learn more about the proposed improvements and submit feedback via the project website, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-17-keating-cross-overpass.

The ministry will use the input received during this public engagement, as well as the input provided by stakeholders in meetings, to finalize its business case for the project.

The Government of Canada has committed more than $16 million to this project through the New Building Canada Fund, Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component—National and Regional Projects. The District of Central Saanich will contribute $2.5 million. The provincial government will finalize its investment for the project following the business case review.

Engineering work is taking place and people can expect to see workers on site.

Learn More:

For the discussion guide and online feedback form, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-17-keating-cross-overpass
For more information on federal infrastructure funding, visit: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca

Thursday, February 25, 2021

 As we look towards our recovery from the pandemic, we have an opportunity to build our province back better. We must make sure our economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. We need to ensure that the care and services that people count on are available when and where they need them. And our recovery must support our climate action goals, in line with our CleanBC strategy.

I want to share with you a few of the actions our New Democrat government took this week:
This week we announced that more than 100 new publicly funded spaces will be available in addiction treatment and recovery programs. The overdose crisis has impacted every community across B.C., and we have more to do to support people who are struggling with substance use issues. These new spaces will allow more people to start their path to recovery and get the care they need in a safe and supportive environment.

Part of our StrongerBC Economic Recovery Plan is investing in training and education programs so people can upskill or reskill to take advantage of high-demand jobs. In recent days our government announced over $20 million for programs that will help people get the skills they need, including short-term skills training in areas like technology, manufacturing, hospitality, horticulture, and automotive trades. We also announced new micro-credentials at 15 of B.C.’s post-secondary institutions, allowing people to quickly gain qualifications or improve their skills in fields like health and human services, construction maintenance, and climate action.

Keeping our water and coastline clean helps make our communities stronger and more resilient. This week we announced that over 127 tonnes of plastic, garbage, and fishing gear have been removed from B.C. shorelines as part of our Clean Coast, Clean Waters initiative. Through this effort we provided employment to 180 people, including Indigenous people and those in the tourism sector, who have been particularly impacted by the pandemic. We also recently announced an additional $9.5 million in funding for more projects like this in 2021.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021



I am pleased to share two exciting updates with you about how our government is making ICBC better.


Enhanced Care

Last week, we launched a new online tool that will give you an estimate of how much money you will save when you renew your car insurance under the new Enhanced Care model that comes into effect on May 1, 2021.
On average, people will save about 20% on their premiums the next time they renew.
The new Enhanced Care model is designed to work for British Columbians. That means your car insurance will be more affordable, and it will provide significantly better care and benefits if you are hurt in a crash. We are making this possible by removing many of the legal costs that are associated with our current system.
I encourage you to check out enhancedcare.icbc.com to see how much you could save – you just need your driver’s licence and licence plate number to log in.

Pandemic savings

With far fewer people on the road during the pandemic, we’ve also had fewer crashes in B.C.
This means that ICBC actually saved money this year, about $600 million overall. And because your insurance should work for you, we are giving those savings back to you with one-time rebates.
Most customers who had an active policy from April 1 to September 30, 2020 will be receiving a rebate. The average person will receive about $190 back, depending on the type of policy you have and how much you paid. Rebate cheques will be mailed out starting in mid-March.

Our New Democrat government is committed to making life more affordable. As we plan our economic recovery from COVID-19, we are building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.