I’ve been asked to write a short piece on my reflections on the past year and what to look forward to next year.
This past year saw the selection of Kevin Falcon as the leader of the official opposition in Victoria and the addition of a new member in my office to assist constituents.
My staff and I are pleased to help you resolve issues you may be having with provincial government agencies.
We can help locate government services and contact information; assist in understanding government policies and services; assist in navigating through government bureaucracy; and ensure due process is being followed.
During 2022, we pressed the government to address issues concerning British Columbians, propose solutions and hold the government to account.
Some of our key focus was on health care where we’ve been calling on the government to be transparent and implement a comprehensive action plan to tackle the crisis in primary care, as nearly one million British Columbians do not have a family doctor and staffing shortages continue to worsen.
In particular, we asked the government to immediately address the nursing shortage and ambulance service in Interior Health so people don’t lose access to vital health care services.
As home ownership continues to be out of reach for many British Columbians, and everything from groceries and rent to gas gets more expensive, we pressed the government to take decisive action, provide relief to families and help people make ends meet.
On crime we asked the government to implement tools to improve public safety, including stricter control and consequences for repeat offenders, as well as increased investment for BC Prosecution Services resources across the province.
On the local capital side, we continue to advocate for new schools including a new Rutland MiddleSchool, which is 70 years old and lacks accessibility, a new Glenmore Secondary School as all existing space in Kelowna secondary schools will be full by 2025, and the replacement of the over-capacity École Glenmore Elementary among the many capital priorities of School District 23.
On transportation, I’ve been urging the government to implement a long-term solution to the bottleneck and safety hazard on Highway 97 at Glenmore and Beaver Lake roads for the thousands of people travelling through the Central Okanagan; to extend the Clement Avenue expressway from Glenmore Road to Highway 33, taking more traffic off Highway 97 with fewer intersections; continue the installation of concrete medians on Highway 97 to Vernon; and fund new capital works on Highway 97 and the Crystal Waters community.
Working with my MLA colleagues, I have shared these and many more needs of the Central Okanagan with the government and will continue to do so in 2023. Thank you to the departing Kelowna and Lake Country mayors and councillors for their service, especially to long-time Lake Country mayor James Baker for his over 30 years in local government, and thank you for the privilege of representing you in Victoria.
Have a great 2023!