Friday, May 28, 2021

We were all horrified to learn this recent news. Please see the following statement from Premier John Horgan about the burial site at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School:
 
“I am horrified and heartbroken to learn that the burial site of 215 children has been confirmed on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. I honour Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc as they grapple with this burden from a dark chapter of Canadian history and uphold their commitment to complete this investigation over the coming weeks – bringing to light the full truth of this loss.
 
“Each child has been forever taken from a family and a community that loved them. This is a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. And it is a stark example of the violence the Canadian residential school system inflicted upon Indigenous peoples and how the consequences of these atrocities continue to this day.
 
“The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc people have said they are the caretakers of these children, as some would have been brought to the residential school from neighbouring Nations. My thoughts are with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and all who mourn, as they enact their cultural protocols to notify First Nations communities whose children were sent to this school.”
 
Support services are available for those affected by this news:
 
A National Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former Residential School students and those affected. Access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1 866 925-4419.
 
Within B.C., the KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia. The KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1 800 588-8717. Alternatively, call direct into the Youth Line at 250 723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250 723-4050, or online: https://www.kuu-uscrisisline.com/
 
You can also view the statement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021PREM0039-001034?fbclid=IwAR1m4eYKZqBgF91FiLB5EXLkZBAWO19UnBDTxBg_pswO6aRsl4MFx0Rzd5Y

Sincerely,



Tuesday, May 25, 2021


Today our government announced BC’s four-step restart plan. 

Implementing this plan will not be like flipping a switch. Rather, it will be a gradual and careful reopening that continues to put science and the advice of health experts first. 

Now, with more than 60% of adults vaccinated with their first dose and COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations steadily declining, British Columbia is ready to move forward with our cautious first step for a careful and safe restart. The four-step plan was designed based on data and guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Dr. Bonnie Henry. Progressing through these steps will be measured by the number of adults vaccinated, COVID-19 case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths, while also considering clusters and outbreaks. While there are approximate reopening dates, the plan will be guided by data, not dates, and we will not proceed to the next step until it is safe to do so.

As of today, we are in Step 1. That means:
  • Maximum of five visitors or one household allowed for indoor personal gatherings
  • Maximum of 10 people for outdoor personal gatherings
  • Maximum of 50 people for seated outdoor organized events with safety protocols
  • Recreational travel only within your travel region
  • Indoor and outdoor dining for up to six people with safety protocols
  • Resuming outdoor sports with no spectators, and low-intensity fitness activities with safety protocols
  • Starting the gradual return to offices
  • Provincewide mask mandate, business safety protocols and physical distancing measures remain in place
  • The return of indoor in-person faith-based gatherings with reduced capacity

Sincerely,



Friday, May 21, 2021



Our province is home to some of the world’s finest tourist attractions. Whether it’s the Butchart Gardens, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, or the MacMillan Space Centre, these attractions have been vital to our economy, and have given us many cherished memories. But we know they are among the businesses hit hardest by this pandemic, and our government is committed to supporting this crucial industry.
 
Recently, our government announced that $50 million is on the way to support B.C.’s major tourist attractions. The BC Major Anchor Attractions Program offers up to $1 million per attraction through one-time grants. Businesses can apply until June 7th, with the funds coming in July. We’re taking strong action to ensure these treasured attractions can continue to draw people to B.C., enrich our local experiences and keep people employed. 
 
This funding will help these crucial businesses survive, and I look forward to the day they are able to welcome everyone back with open arms.
 
You can learn more here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021TACS0036-000947
 
Sincerely,



Thursday, May 20, 2021


 

Happy Child Care Appreciation Day to all our hardworking child care staff in Saanich South and beyond! 

Thank you for everything you do to support families in our community. Download and print this colouring sheet for a fun activity- either for a child or for yourself!

Sincerely,


Tuesday, May 18, 2021


Our government is building the next phase of our restart plan, a careful step-by-step approach which will allow us to do more as it becomes safe to do so. This approach has helped us keep a lot of businesses operating safely this past year and avoid larger shutdowns. We are working with businesses on their reopening needs and will have more to share on the next steps after the May long-weekend.
 
We know this virus can surge quickly. That’s why, like every decision in this pandemic, we will move forward step by step based on Dr. Henry’s advice. Our top priority remains keeping people and families safe.  
 
The pandemic has been hard on so many people, businesses, and communities and while cases are still too high and we’re not through it yet, there are reasons to be optimistic.
 
We asked people to limit their contacts with coworkers, friends, and family to bend the curve back down – and British Columbians stepped up and pulled together. It’s working. As a result of our efforts, cases are going down and so are hospitalizations.
 
At the same time more and more people are getting vaccinated - more than 50% of BC’s eligible population have received their first dose.  
 
We’re all looking forward to better days. We’re not there yet, but we get closer everyday.

Sincerely,




Thursday, May 13, 2021


 


Over the past few weeks, we have all felt some relief as our most vulnerable—our grandparents, parents, and loved ones—received their vaccines. Recently, there was more good news: we’re expecting to receive over one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine this month, speeding up our rollout!

With these new vaccines coming, it’s more important than ever for all British Columbians aged 18+ to register through B.C.’s Get Vaccinated system. This way, you will get an email or text notification prompting you to book an appointment when it is your turn. You will only need to register once. Anyone who is not yet registered can do so in one of three ways:
  • Online at: gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated
  • By phone between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. (Pacific time), toll-free, at 1-833 838-2323 
  • In person at your nearest Service BC location 

People 30+ can expect to start receiving email or text notifications to book their vaccine appointment, along with Indigenous people 18+ and people who are clinically extremely vulnerable. As well, pregnant British Columbians 16+ are now eligible to receive their vaccine as a priority population. After registering, people who are pregnant can book their vaccine by calling 1-833-838-2323 and identifying as being pregnant. For more information, please visit this page. 

The Pfizer vaccine has now been approved by Health Canada for kids 12-17, and we’ll be integrating them into our age-based vaccine rollout. As more people become eligible and more vaccines are approved, we will continue to update our provincewide program. 

To date, more than 50% of eligible British Columbians have received their first dose of the vaccine, with that number increasing every day. At this crucial time in the pandemic, I strongly urge everyone who is eligible to register and get vaccinated as soon they are able. Being immunized is the best way to protect ourselves and our communities and to put this pandemic behind us. Thank you for continuing your efforts to keep each other safe.  

COVID Resources:    
  • For PHO orders and guidance, visit this page
  • For seniors looking for additional support, or for those looking to support seniors, call 2-1-1 or visit bc211.ca 
  • For virtual mental health resources, click here. 
As always, if you have questions or need any assistance with vaccination information, provincial COVID-19 supports, or any other provincial issue, please reach out. My office can be reached at250-479-4154 or Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca.


Sincerely,    

  



Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Last Spring, my office published a restaurant guide for eateries in Saanich South. The guide was delivered to almost 22,000 households to encourage folks to support our local restaurant industry that is suffering heavily because of the pandemic. 

Now, we’re distributing our Saanich South Restaurant and Eatery Menu 2.0 with updated contact info and including new restaurants!

Special thanks to everyone who did take-out and pick-up last Spring. We know the drill my friends, let’s come together once again to show these important businesses lots of love! 

Every bit helps!



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.