Wednesday, July 28, 2021


 

Have you been vaccinated yet?

The chart above shows that vaccines work. Vaccinated people are way less likely to get Covid, and those that do have a greatly reduced chance of ending up in the hospital. Get yours as soon as you can, and talk to your friends and family about the benefits of getting vaccinated.

If you haven't been vaccinated yet, or if it's been more than 49 days since your first dose, now is the time to get vaccinated. Visit here to register for a vaccine (if you haven't already), and visit this website to learn about drop-in vaccine clinics.

Please continue to follow Covid guidelines and restrictions, get vaccinated as soon as you can, and encourage your friends and family to get vaccinated too.

Thank you,


Friday, July 23, 2021

 


Our top priority has always been, and will always be, keeping people safe. On Tuesday July 20, Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, declared a State of Emergency, based on the advice of emergency management and wildfire officials. 

Thousands of firefighting and emergency response staff are already in the field and nothing has stood in the way of them getting the resources they need to respond to wildfires and support people. The State of Emergency allows us to move quickly, should the need arise, to ensure coordination and secure more accommodation spaces. 

The cooperation from all levels of government and in our communities has been outstanding, and we expect this to continue as we move through another very difficult fire season. Whether you live in an affected area or are planning travel across B.C., I encourage you to visit www.bcwildfire.ca for the latest information to help keep yourself and your family safe. 

We know that climate change is expected to make these types of extreme events more frequent and that we need strong, coordinated action around the world to reduce emissions and build a cleaner economy for everyone.  

In B.C., we’re taking a range of actions through our CleanBC plan to build a more sustainable future powered by more renewable energy. We’ve also supported a Cultural and Prescribed Fire program to promote healthy forests and reduce wildfire risk. We’ve invested in wildfire risk reduction, reforestation, forest rehabilitation, and other efforts through the Forest Enhancement Society of BC and Forest Carbon Initiative. 

Sometimes, taking care of our environment also happens on a smaller scale. This week, we took action to protect wildlife like owls by restricting the sale and use of certain rodenticides. These are poisons designed to kill rodents, which often end up harming or killing the owls or other wildlife that eat these rodents. This temporary ban will allow us to collaborate with experts in the field of rodent control and wildlife protection and work together on public education and the prevention of further harm to wildlife in our province.

As always, please do your part to help prevent wildfires by respecting bans on campfires, open fires, and fireworks. To report a wildfire or irresponsible behaviour that could start a wildfire in British Columbia, please call 1-800-663-5555 or (*5555 from a cell phone).

Sincerely,


Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Do you know what to do if you’ve lost your home or vehicle to a wildfire? Do you have questions about things like EI benefits or mail delivery in fire-affected areas? If you or a loved one has been impacted by a BC Wildfire visit http://emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca and click on "Recovery & Supports" and there you’ll be able to connect to many of the key resources that you may need.
 
Now let's all do our part by respecting bans on campfires, fireworks, and open fires and being extra cautious when disposing of things that may start a fire, such as cigarettes.

As always, please reach out to my office if you need assistance with provincial programs. You can do so by emailing Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca or calling 250-479-4154.

Thank you,


Thursday, July 15, 2021

 


Renewed Ambulance Services:

When you call 911 for a medical emergency, you should feel confident that help is on the way. That’s why we’re taking action to improve B.C.’s ambulance system by making it faster and more responsive, and a better place to work for paramedics.
 
Our government is hiring 85 new full-time paramedics and 30 new full-time dispatchers. We’re also funding 22 new ambulances around the province. To better serve rural communities, we’re converting 22 rural ambulance stations to 24/7 ALPHA stations. We’re also directing health authorities to add additional staff at hospital emergency departments to receive patients from ambulances – so that paramedics can get back on the road to respond to calls more quickly.
 
We’re also making changes to the board and leadership of BC Emergency Health Services, making it more accountable to the Minister of Health, with a mandate to ensure better service for British Columbians.
 
Since 2017, the BC Emergency Health Services annual budget has increased from $424.25 million to $559.12 million a year, doubling the average annual spending increases compared to the previous year. There is still more to do, and we’re committed to making sure these services are there when people need them.
 
Many parts of our province are also dealing with the impacts of wildfires right now. My thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted, and all the first responders who are assisting. Let’s do our part to prevent forest fires by respecting current bans on campfires, open fires, and fireworks.
 
The federal and provincial governments have both committed to matching donations to the Red Cross' British Columbia Fires Appeal. That means every dollar donated will become $3 to support the people affected by this fire season. You can donate in the following ways:


Thank you,



Friday, July 9, 2021


Moving Towards Universal Child Care:

The pandemic has shone a light on something we’ve known for a long time – that access to affordable, inclusive child care is not only good social policy, it’s also vital to our economy.
 
So far, our government has created thousands of affordable child care spaces across BC. Families are already feeling the benefits, with many parents saving up to $1,600 a month per child. Over the next three years, our government will be investing more than $2.5 billion in our Childcare BC plan.
 
We’ve established ourselves as a national leader in child care and we’re proud to be the first province to in Canada to sign an agreement to build a national low-cost child care system.
 
We’ve secured an investment of over $3 billion in our plan from the federal government. By working together, we’re making $10-a-day child care a reality for more families.
 
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, who often take on more child care responsibilities in families. By making child care more affordable and accessible, we’re allowing more women to make the choice to go back to work or go back to school to further their education.
 
We’re building an inclusive, universal child care system that will support our strong economic recovery, and benefit BC families for generations to come. Learn more here.

Sincerely,


Wednesday, July 7, 2021


Sending a HUGE thank you to all of BC’s firefighters! 

The hustle and drive of BC firefighters is unmatched, they’re facing some of the toughest challenges that BC has ever seen and risking their lives to keep us safe. 

Please do your part by respecting the campfire, firework, and open fire bans that are currently active across the province. 

As of July 7, 2021 there are 201 active fires. Please call 1-800-663-5555 (or *5555 on your cell) to report a wildfire. For updates please visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status

Thank you,


Friday, July 2, 2021


As of yesterday, BC is in Step 3 of our Restart Plan. So far nearly 80% of British Columbians have had their first dose of the vaccine, and our declining case counts show us that vaccines are working.

We have been able to move to Step 3 because of our collective efforts and sacrifices. Thank you for everything you’ve done these past fifteen months to keep yourselves and our community safe.

I encourage you to visit this page for complete details about our Restart Plan and what Step 3 means for you and your family. Here are a few highlights of the new changes and what we can now safely do:

You can attend normal indoor and outdoor personal gatherings, including sleepovers.
Restaurants, bars, and pubs are no longer limited to 6 people per table.
Fitness classes can resume with normal capacity. 
Indoor and outdoor sports can have more spectators.
Travellers from across Canada are welcome.

Masks are recommended in public indoor settings for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. While masks are no longer mandatory, individual businesses and organizations may still choose to require masks in their spaces. Some people may still want to wear masks in many settings, and that’s ok. 

Step 3 brings us closer to normal, but the pandemic is not yet behind us. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, now is the time to do so. Remember to continue washing your hands, staying home when you’re feeling sick, and make sure to get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms. When socializing with friends and family, be mindful of everyone’s individual comfort level, and as always, be kind, be calm, and be safe.

Thank you,