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Victoria Report: Expectations high for new NDP cabinet to deliver in key areas

Housing and health care just two areas where real action is needed

Premier David Eby recently announced his new cabinet, and it’s my hope that some new faces can bring fresh perspectives and some real action to the issues that matter to people in my riding of Fraser-Nicola.

Of primary concern to many communities is the continued recovery from climate events, and the planning and work needed to prepare for future disasters and reduce their impact. I continue to advocate at the provincial level for additional support for rebuilding Lytton and for residents who remain displaced from their homes and who face overwhelming red tape and other hurdles in the recovery process.

I look forward to bringing these local concerns to the new Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness, Bowinn Ma.

Other issues of concern include rural economic development and diversification. Ashcroft is one of the communities in B.C. that is dealing with the impacts of the forestry industry’s decline. Workers are facing financial hardship and uncertainty for the future.

B.C. has a new Forests Minister, Bruce Ralston, who I trust is getting up to speed on the many challenges faced by forestry-dependent communities right now.

Communities including ours expect incoming Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon to make progress on more affordable housing, particularly for seniors who want to age in place. And although the Premier has shown his faith in Health Minister Adrian Dix by keeping him in this role, the people of Ashcroft expect him to show much more urgency in improving ambulance response and relieving staffing shortages in our health care facilities.

The challenges in our community are significant, but with a new year here, and new ministers on these hugely important files, I hope we will see quicker action to bring relief, recovery, and new opportunities for Ashcroft and area to thrive.

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