Tuesday, October 25, 2022

BC Butternut Squash Soup

This Fall and Winter, make sure to support BC farmers by cooking with local ingredients! There are lots of ways you can do this, but this recipe for butternut squash soup is a great place to start!


  • 1 large Vancouver Island butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 peeled and chopped BC apple
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 3-4 cups of vegetable stock
  • Ground nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped BC onion
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Halve butternut squash vertically and remove seeds. Drizzle with olive oil. Rub the oil over the inside, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Turn squash face down and roast until tender, about 40-50 minutes. Set squash aside until cool enough to handle. Then remove skin and chop.
  • Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is turning golden on the edges. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the butternut squash, apple, maple syrup, and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Using a blender, puree the soup in batches.
  • Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt to taste


Monday, October 24, 2022

Happy Diwali!

Happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas! 

Diwali celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, hope over despair, and good over evil. For Sikhs, Bandi Chhor Divas also celebrates the victory of justice over injustice and is a time to remember the importance of freedom in our lives. 

Read the Premier's statement here.


Friday, October 14, 2022

Community Safety Grants

Across Saanich South, there are many organizations doing good, important work. Many of you have connected with these organizations, as a volunteer, supporter, or someone who has benefitted from their efforts. I’ve also had the chance to meet with many of these groups in our and hear about all they do. 

I'm excited to share that applications for community safety grants are now open. These grants, which use the profits from civil forfeiture to reinvest in community safety and crime prevention, help support projects under four categories – crime prevention, gender-based violence, Indigenous healing, and restorative justice. Learn more about the grants and how to apply here.

There are thousands of dollars available to community organizations to support important projects. These one-time grants are available to organizations annually, and we’ve been pleased to help fund innovative projects throughout B.C. to support community safety at the local level in partnership with the organizations who are dedicated to this work.


Friday, October 7, 2022

Tackling the health care worker shortage

People in Saanich and across BC care deeply about having access to quality healthcare when and where they need it, and I thank those of you that have reached out to my office to share your thoughts and experiences. As government, it's a top priority for us to make sure our healthcare system is supported and strengthened so everyone in BC can access the quality care they need. We're working to attract and retain doctors and using innovative strategies to improve access to healthcare, like expanding the abilities of our pharmacists to prescribe and administer routine medications to reduce strain on primary care providers.
Through our government's incentives for recent family medicine graduates to encourage them to practice primary care in our communities, including signing bonuses and student debt forgiveness, we've had over 50 doctors sign contacts to provide full-service family practice in communities across B.C., with many more expressing interest or in discussions about contract terms. Learn more about this work here.
We also recently launched our Health Human Resources Strategy, which will support our healthcare providers and make our healthcare system work better. The strategy includes steps to expand medical residency seats at UBC's faculty of medicine, and beginning Oct. 14, allowing pharmacists to adapt and renew an extended range of prescriptions and administer prescribed drugs, and in spring 2023, expanding this to allow pharmacists to prescribe medications for minor ailments and contraceptives. Read more about our strategy. 
This work will support access to healthcare for people across BC and allow our key professionals like pharmacists to use their expertise to better serve patients. This builds upon work we’ve been doing to attract and retain family doctors, train more medical professionals, and use innovative solutions to reduce strain across our healthcare system. Through these measures, people will better be able to access the urgent and primary care they need, throughout the province