Monday, November 29, 2021


With heavy rainfall in coastal and southwestern BC, our government has extended the provincial state of emergency and fuel order until the end of the day on December 14th, 2021.

Since this weekend, Highway 99 and Highway 3 have reopened to essential traffic. However, Highway 1 remains closed due to the threat of flooding. Highway 1 is closed between  McCallum Road (exit 90) and Yale Road (exit 109) as well as between just east of Hope all the way into the Popkum/Bridal Falls area. For the most up-to-date road conditions check drivebc.ca.

Additionally, we've setup a helpline for those who have been impacted by recent extreme weather events and flooding. For info about emergency and agricultural supports, mental health supports, essential travel, and more folks can call 1-833-376-2452. Folks are also welcome to contact my office at 250-479-4154 for my constituency office or 250-387-1023 for the Ministry of Agriculture.

Sincerely,

Wednesday, November 24, 2021



Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued weather alerts for a series of storms, strong winds, and snow in some areas in BC. Storms are expected to arrive later today and continue into next week.

Flood conditions may arise in the effected areas over the period of these storms. The River Forecast Centre has issued high streamflow advisories for all coastal regions. Please avoid non-essential travel during storms, and check-in on friends and family to make sure everyone is safe and prepared.

  • To read more click here.
  • For up-to-date weather alerts visit this website.
  • For tips on emergency preparedness here.

Sincerely,





Our government is working with the Red Cross to provide additional financial support for those who have been evacuated due to the flooding. 
Assistance will be provided by the Red Cross to those whose primary residence was put on evacuation order as a result of the November 14th - 16th flooding. 

Eligible households will receive $2,000. To access this funding call Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582 anytime between 8:00AM and 8:00PM Pacific time.

Read more here.

Sincerely,


Tuesday, November 23, 2021


Following a geotechnical assessment, Highway 3 has been deemed safe and reopened to essential travel. Monitoring is in place, and drivers should expect delays and single-lane alternating traffic on portions of the road.

Essential travel is defined as:
  • Commercial transporting for goods and supplies;
  • Transporting essential goods and supplies;
  • Transporting livestock, agricultural or seafood products or related supplies;
  • Traveling by agricultural producers, veterinarians and support personnel to provide care for animals;
  • Responding to emergencies or critical incidents, including incidents that involve search and rescue operations;
  •  Evacuating for medical reasons or transporting for urgent medical treatment;
  •  Highway and infrastructure repairing, maintenance and operation and related activities;
  •  Transporting essential personnel, including health care workers and emergency responders;
  •  Returning to a person’s own principal residence;
  •  Exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right as recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982; and
  • Media members travelling through a highway segment for purposes of reporting on the flooding and landslides
Read more here.

Sincerely,


Monday, November 22, 2021


Many in BC, especially farmers, are still in the middle of this disaster. We’re hearing what you need, our government and the federal government are with you and we are doing all we can to help you get back on your feet.

Here is some of the most up to date information from our government:


You can find further updates here or on the BC Government News website. You are also welcome to reach out to my office. For inquiries or help relating to the Ministry of Agriculture call 250-387-1023. For my constituency office call 250-479-4154.

Sincerely, 



Friday, November 19, 2021


The last few days have been difficult for many in B.C. We’ve seen incredible amounts of rainfall and wind that led to damaging floods and mudslides across much of our Province. My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.

We are working day and night to get people to safety and provide the support they need. Our government has declared a State of Emergency to mitigate impacts on transportation and support the provincewide response and recovery. We’ve requested federal assistance and Canadian Air Force assets are already operational, with more resources on the way. Emergency Support Services and Search and Rescue teams are providing emergency shelter, food and other supports to thousands of evacuees and stranded travellers. The B.C. Wildfire service has also been supporting efforts to rescue people and clear roads. The Ministry of Agriculture is working directly with farmers and farmers associations to help in any way possible, including using helicopters to drop containers with food and water for animals on farms that have been cut off.

I want to reassure everyone that our supplies of food and goods are secure. There may be temporary disruptions, but we are working quickly to re-route shipments through alternate routes to ensure people can get the essential supplies they need. You can play a role by shopping as you normally would and buying only what you need. Remember, your neighbours need supplies too.

I know the last few days have been devastating, but the most important thing we can all do right now is to remain calm and follow instructions from emergency personnel and experts. Right now, we are asking people not to travel for any non-essential reasons.

Here are some key links for the coming days:
  • Before travelling check road closures, re-openings, and the status of repairs at DriveBC.ca 
  • To donate funds or supplies to relief efforts, please contact donations@gov.bc.ca 
  • Disaster financial assistance is available for those affected by flooding. See more info here.
  • See all current evacuation orders, alerts, and list of reception centres at emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca
  • People who have evacuated and need assistance should register with Emergency SupportServices.

Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank all of the British Columbians who have stepped up during this incredibly difficult time to help each other, whether that was providing food and shelter to stranded strangers or bringing their neighbour’s farm animals to safety. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about any provincial issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help you. My constituency office can be reached at 250-479-4154 or Lana.Popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca. My ministry office can be reached at 250-387-1023 or AGR.Minister@gov.bc.ca. 

Sincerely,



Wednesday, November 17, 2021


In response to the impacts of the recent extreme storm and flooding, we’ve declared a state of emergency. This will help us secure supply chains and make sure essential goods and emergency services can reach hard-hit communities.
 
Farmers, homeowners, tenants, small business owners, and charitable organizations who have suffered property damage can apply for Disaster Financial Assistance. If you have questions or need more information, please contact the Disaster Financial Assistance Team at 1-888-257-4777 or DFA@gov.bc.ca.
 
Many highways and roads remain closed. Please avoid non-essential travel to the effected areas. The Malahat will be closed overnight from 6:00PM – 6:00AM, until the morning of the 23rd. West Saanich Road is also closed at multiple intersections due to erosion caused by the storm. You can check road conditions at drivebc.ca.
 
I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to everyone working hard throughout this disaster. To the emergency crews, to those doing roadwork, to small businesses stepping up, and to neighbours doing what they can to lend a helping hand, thank you all for your hard work and dedication to your community.
 
Sincerely
,


Friday, November 12, 2021


This week we announced an investment of $3 million for technology and trades equipment upgrades at 20 public post-secondary institutions across the province, including Camosun College’s Interurban campus! This will help set students up to excel in their careers by providing them with a high-quality learning environment where they can learn with industry-grade equipment. Funding will help Camosun replace obsolete equipment with modern technology to fit the wide range of programs they offer, including programs ranging from the culinary arts to civil engineering to plumbing!
 
Tech and skilled trades jobs offer interesting and rewarding career opportunities for workers, and contribute to B.C.’s economy in a big way - and they are in high demand. According to the 2019 Labour Market Outlook, 75,000 tech-related job openings, such as computer programmers, engineers and software designers, are expected in the 10-year period from 2019-29. In the trades, approximately 73,000 job openings are expected during the same time in occupations such as millwrighting, carpentry, construction and heavy-duty machinery.
 
We are improving access to training and education while supporting the sector with more home-grown talent. Every year, B.C. invests $99 million in trades education through the Industry Training Authority, and this year alone, they expect to fund more than 27,000 apprenticeship and foundation training seats. We’re also funding 2900 more tech spaces at post-secondary institutions.
 
We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of people entering tech and skilled trades professions in B.C. and we continue to encourage more people to consider this career path. Including by creating more opportunities for women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour to enter the trades.

Sincerely,

Tuesday, November 9, 2021


(From left to right: Mayor Haynes, Minister Popham, Darrell Wick, and Councilor Judy Brownoff).

Last week I was able to attend the official opening of the new bridge at PKOLS/Mount Douglas Park! The bridge crosses Douglas Creek and is a fantastic improvement to the existing trail network. Checkout the image below to see the location of the new bridge.


I would like to extend a huge thank you to Darrell Wick and all the folks at the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society who made this project happen!

Thank you,


Friday, November 5, 2021

 


Let’s get one thing clear:

Substance use and addiction should be treated as healthcare issues, not criminal issues.

All people deserve quality health care, and that’s why we have been working across our government to transform the way people access services. For people living with addiction or substance use issues, shame, fear and stigma can keep them from reaching out for the help they need. This week, B.C. applied for an exemption from Health Canada to remove criminal penalties for people who possess small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use. Substance use and addiction is a healthcare issue, not a criminal one. By decriminalizing people who use drugs, we can help reduce the shame and fear that prevents them from accessing treatment and support. You can learn more about this step here.

Decriminalization is just one part of our plan to build a stronger system of mental health and substance use care for people, no matter where they are in their journey. Since 2017, we’ve rapidly increased the number of treatment and recovery beds for youth and adults, and we’ve doubled the number of supervised consumption sites. We’ve also made large, systemic changes, including developing first-in-Canada solutions like nurse prescribing and safer supply. 

The previous government left British Columbians with an underfunded, patchwork system of care for people living with mental health and substance use challenges. Our government knows that every person in this province deserves high-quality care and that’s why we are taking action to ensure that services are available and accessible when and where people need them.  

Sincerely,