Friday, September 17, 2021


As your MLA, my top priority is ensuring people in Saanich and across B.C. get the support and care they need to thrive. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink how we care for each other, but our government’s commitment remains steadfast. 

I wanted to share with you a few actions our government has taken over the last week to ensure people have the support they need.

New accessible playgrounds:

Last week we announced that more than 14,000 students in B.C. will soon be playing on new, accessible playgrounds. We’re building 60 new accessible playgrounds at schools around the province. This investment means less fundraising for parents, and more time playing with their kids. Playing outdoors is not only fun, it also helps students to practice sharing and problem solving. Being active at recess helps kids to focus and learn better in the classroom. The new playgrounds will have accessible features like ground cover, ramps, and transfer platforms, ensuring a place for kids of all abilities to play. 

Of the 60 new accessible playgrounds 3 of them are in Saanich South! The new playgrounds will be at Northridge Elementary, Lake Hill Elementary, and the Children’s Development Centre in Cordova Bay!

Over $1.45 million raised for wildfire relief:

This wildfire season has been devastating for many families in BC. I am so grateful for our fire crews, who have been nothing short of heroic in their efforts to keep everyone safe. I want to thank everyone who has donated to the Canadian Red Cross to support their work. Customers at BC Liquor Stores and BC Cannabis Stores have shown their community spirit by collectively donating over $1.45 million, which will be matched by the provincial and federal governments, for a total of over $4.35 million. For more info on the supports available for people, and how you can help, visit emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/

Strengthening our ambulance system:

When you call 911 in an emergency, you should feel confident that help is on the way quickly. We are strengthening our ambulance system by converting 24 rural and remote paramedic stations from on-call to 24/7 staffing. This will mean faster response times for people in small communities from Tofino to Fernie to Fort St James. We are also in the process of hiring 85 new paramedics for larger centres, from Metro Vancouver, to Kamloops, to Prince George.


Sincerely,



Thursday, September 16, 2021


Effective this week, people aged 12+ need to show proof of at least one does of a COVID-19 vaccine to access some recreational events and businesses in BC. Here is some information that might help answer any questions you may have:

What do I need to show for proof of vaccination?
  • You can show either a screenshot on your phone of your vaccine card or a paper copy. 
  • Until September 26th you can show a copy of your BC immunization record in place of your Vaccine Card
  • If you are visiting from outside of BC you can show an outside-of-BC immunization record instead of a BC Vaccine Card
  • Everyone aged 19+ must also show government-issued photo ID with their proof of vaccination

How do I get my Vaccine Card?
  • Visit www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard to get a digital copy or a PDF which you can print out. It only takes a minute!
  • Do you know someone without a computer? Let them know that they can call 1-833-838-2323 to get a copy of their card mailed to them! They can also have a trusted friend or family member print off their card or visit a Service BC centre to get their card!

Where do I need to show proof of vaccination?
  • Restaurants, pubs, and bars,
  • Movie theatres,
  • Casinos and nightclubs,
  • Gyms, dance studios, and other recreation facilities,
  • Indoor organized events with more than 50 people such as ticketed sports games, conferences, and weddings,
  • Indoor organized group activities with more than 50 people such as pottery classes and choir, and
  • Indoor adult sports for people aged 22+
  • For the full list please visit www.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard 

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions or need assistance please reach out to my office at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca or 250-479-4154.

Sincerely,



Thursday, September 9, 2021



Vaccines are the key to putting the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. 

In order to keep people safer while doing the things they enjoy, proof of vaccination will soon be required for people attending certain social and recreational businesses and events.

Starting Monday, September 13, you will need to show proof of one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to access places like bars, pubs, sit-down restaurants, concerts, casinos, movie theatres, gyms, indoor recreational classes, ticketed sports events, and organized indoor events with 50 people or more. Starting October 24, you will need to show proof that you are fully vaccinated – meaning seven days have passed since your second dose.
 
The easiest way to display your proof of vaccination is to visit this site and obtain your individual QR code. Simply download or screenshot the image and save it to your smartphone, to have it wherever you go. 

You can also print your QR code and carry the paper copy in your wallet. If you don’t have access to a smartphone or a printer, you can call 1-833-838-2323 and a representative will mail you a printed copy. If you or someone you know need information or assistance in a different language, the call centre can provide translation. The call centre is available every day from 7am to 7pm.

As we’ve always said, getting vaccinated is a choice. By choosing to get vaccinated, you choose to protect kids who can’t get vaccinated, and those who have higher risk of severe illness or who may not develop as strong an immune response.

By choosing to get vaccinated, you are also choosing to support local restaurants, attend a Canucks game, go to spin class or hot yoga, or take in a concert. Getting vaccinated is the best choice to protect yourself and the people you love, and to ensure you can continue to participate in the recreational activities and social events you love. 

As a reminder, you won’t need to show proof of vaccination to do essential things. This includes going to a grocery store, pharmacy, or picking up fast food or take out. It also includes banks, retail or clothing stores, shelters and food banks, hairdressers or barbers, and places of worship. 

For the complete list of which places will and won’t require proof of vaccine, visit gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard

If you have any questions about the vaccine card or need assistance with obtaining your proof of vaccination, please don’t hesitate to reach out. My team and I are here to help you. You can reach my office by calling 250-479-4154, emailing us at Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca, or visiting us at 260-4243 Glanford Avenue during office hours. Our office hours are Monday - Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm


Thank you,


 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021


 
This week, students in BC are headed back to school for a new school year. I know that many kids are excited to get back to classes, sports, extracurriculars, and seeing their friends. I also know that many parents have questions about how we are continuing to adapt to the changing COVID-19 pandemic.
 
The health and safety of students and staff remains our top priority. The school safety protocols are guided by the experts at the BC Centre for Disease Control and developed in collaboration with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and our K-12 steering committee.
 
Here are the key measures in place this school year
:

  • All students and staff must complete a health check every day and stay home if they are sick. You can use the K-12 Health Check website or app to quickly go through the checklist.
  • All staff, visitors, and all students in Grades 4-12, must wear a mask indoors and on the bus. Students in K-3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask if they can put it on and take it off themselves.
  • $87.5 million has been invested to improve ventilation systems in B.C. schools.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of rooms and surfaces will follow BC CDC guidance, with all frequently touched surfaces cleaned every 24 hours.
  • This year, sports, clubs and extracurriculars will continue, with safety plans in place, and in accordance with local, regional, and provincial public health orders.

These precautions are being put in place so that students can continue learning in the classroom and have every opportunity to achieve their goals. For more info on how we're keeping schools safe, visit this page.
 
We’ve also invested an additional $5 million this year for increased mental health supports for students. We know the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. With this funding, each school district will be able to deliver the programs that work for their community and help kids thrive.  
 
The best thing we can all do to keep ourselves and those around us safe is to get vaccinated. If you know someone who is looking for info on where to get their shots send them this link. Many clinics are now offering walk in appointments every day, maybe you can even offer to help someone find a walk-in clinic that is close and convenient!  


Sincerely,