In the Legislature
Keeping Jumbo Wild
Last month I presented a petition signed by 61,526 people from around the world to Keep Jumbo Wild. I also asked that the government to disband the fake town of Jumbo and put our resources towards real projects that benefit real people in the Kootenays.
Ban Big Money from BC Politics Since 2005, New Democrats have been trying to get big money out of politics. We have introduced legislation 6 times and have been raising the alarm for years. I once again attempted to get an answer from Premier Christy Clark on this issue but was met with silence.
Knowing that the bid money influence over the BC Liberal government hit home a year ago with the privatization of local hospital laundry services, I also met with Kootenay Lake Hospital laundry workers and the Hospital Employees Union for an update. Now that a BC Liberal Party donor will be doing our hospital laundry in Kelowna, about 20 people will be losing their jobs here.
Poverty Reduction With a major affordability crisis in BC, rising costs and increased Food Bank usage and homelessness, I once again introduced New Democrats’ Poverty Reduction and Economic Inclusion Act for the 6th time. To date, BC is the only province in the country without a plan. I am hopeful that this will change in the near future to help meet the very real need for action.
Ending Homelessness My colleague David Eby introduced a motion to end homelessness in BC. I was honoured to support this important initiative. Sadly, the debate ended without support from the BC Liberal government.
Live from Victoria: Sofa Chat
Using Facebook Live, my live Sofa Chats with MLA colleagues at the Legislature were a huge hit! MLA Melanie Mark was my special guest for International Women’s Day, where we talked about her experience being the first First Nations woman elected to BC’s Legislature.
During my chat with Selina Robertson, MLA for Coquitlam-Maillardville, New Democrat Leader John Horgan popped in to say Hi as well. It was a great chat about banning big money from politics, the opioid crisis and why every vote counts.
At home in the Kootenays
After a busy final session of the Legislature in Victoria, I was back in the Kootenays meeting with local groups, attending community events and talking with people around the riding.
Visiting with Students Students in both Creston and Nelson Wildflower classes posed excellent questions about government and what it’s like to be an MLA, and I was thrilled to be invited to talk with the Adult Special Education class at Selkirk College.
100 mile diet at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club
Nelson’s Rod and Gun Club hosted their annual banquet and once again served up a delicious feast of locally caught game. This is one annual event not to be missed!
Celebrating Kootenay Citizens
This year’s Nelson’s Citizen of the Year was Helen Jameson. I appreciate being invited every year to celebrate one of our Kootenays heros, and Helen is most certainly deserving of her recognition. Learn more about all that Helen does and consider helping her out with the costs of saving our local wildlife.
I also enjoyed a wonderful lunch with Creston seniors at the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors (TAPS), and notably enjoyed a few laughs with Wedge who is 101.5 years young!
Growing a 21st century economy
I learned so much talking with workers in Nelson’s tech sector at the monthly Tech Meetup (link to KAST). Our region has so much to offer this global market and we are doing it!
Not only do we have great tech talent in the Kootenays, but we have amazing farming talent. It was great to be in Creston to catch up with Fields Forward about all their incredible projects that are growing our agricultural sector even more. I am so proud of this initiative and the support it receives from so many people and organizations.
Craft brewing in Kaslo
Kaslo is in for a treat once the new Angry Hen Brewery is up and running. I met with its owners and learned about their forthcoming contribution to our local economy. I hope to spend some time on their patio this summer enjoying their additions to Kootenay craft brewing. See you there!
Other meetings included a stop and talk at the Nelson & District Chamber of Commerce; discussing current forestry issues and protecting Cody Caves with the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources; meeting with the Nelson Fire Department; and celebrating Nelson’s Ambulance Paramedics 25 year anniversary.
I am so honoured to represent a constituency with such a variety of organizations and individuals, each bringing their passion and commitment to making the Kootenay region the best place it can possibly be.
DISASTER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
I am happy to report that Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) will be available for Central Kootenay residents impacted by flooding this Spring. My non-partisan constituency office will remain staffed during the election period to help with any applications. Please call toll-free: 1-877-388-4498.
DFA is available to homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies that were unable to obtain insurance to cover these disaster-related losses. Applications from within the RDCK and RDEK, including municipalities, must be submitted to Emergency Management BC by June 25. On-line applications can be made at http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance.
Applicants should be aware of the following:
• Financial assistance is provided for each accepted claim at 80% of the amount of total eligible damage that exceeds $1,000, to a maximum claim of $300,000.
• Claims may be made in more than one category (e.g., homeowner and farm owner).
• A homeowner or residential tenant must show that the home is their principal residence.
• Seasonal or recreational properties, hot tubs, patios, pools, garden tools, landscaping, luxury items (like jewelry, fur coats and collectibles), and recreational items (like bicycles) are not eligible for assistance.
• Small business owners and farm owners must demonstrate it is their primary source of income. Owners of damaged rental property must apply and qualify as a small business.
• Charitable organizations must provide a benefit of service to the community at large.
Be Flood Prepared
The RDCK asks residents to prepare emergency plans and kits containing tools and items necessary to protect their homes and properties. In potential life threatening circumstances, the RDCK, along with the support of Emergency Management BC (EMBC), may issue an Evacuation Alert or an Evacuation Order to residents living in a flood hazard area.
Any Evacuation Alerts or Orders will be communicated through the RDCK’s emergency alert system, as well as posted on their website and Facebook page, and broadcast through local media.
If you haven’t already signed up for the free Emergency Notification System, please do so at: https://rdckemergency.connectrocket.com/ or visit the RDCK website and check out the Emergency Alert Quick Link on their home page.
In the event of a flood emergency
Listen to local radio stations for more information on sand bag locations and current evacuation alerts & orders.
To report potential flooding or for more information call RDCK Emergency Coordinators:
Nelson / Kaslo & Areas D, E, F, I, J 250-354-5343
Nakusp / Slocan & Areas H,K 250-265-1920
Creston & Areas A, B, C / Salmo & Area G 250-254-8255
24/7 Provincial Emergency Reporting Number: Emergency Management BC - Emergency Coordination Centre: 1-800-663-3456
Dirty or muddy water: please report immediately!
For information on debris flow hazards: http://www.rdck.ca/assets/Services/Emergency~Management/Documents/Debris%20Flow%20Hazard%20Brochure_FINAL.pdf
For information on Flood Preparedness, How to Sand Bag; Creating a Personal Emergency Kit and current River Flow Levels from the BC River Forecast Centre check out: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-management-bc/flood-protection-and-planning
For Kootenay Lake water levels: www.fortisbc.ca
For local RDCK Flood/ Freshet Information News Releases (when applicable) please see www.rdck.bc.ca