The spring Legislative session has come to an end, which means I’ll be winding down my time in Victoria and enjoying the summer months here in our beautiful riding of Fraser-Nicola. The meetings, advocacy, and community events don’t stop, but it’s wonderful to be closer to home and my constituents.
During the session, the rights of landowners were among the key topics discussed after the Agriculture Minister introduced Bill 15, the Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act 2019. This legislation prevents farmers from applying directly to the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to make changes to their property: only a local government or First Nation can do so. In addition, it diminishes rural voices and decision-making and concentrates power in Victoria.
Our caucus also pressed the government on a number of issues relating to affordability. Skyrocketing gas prices have made it difficult for Ashcroft and Cache Creek residents to travel for medical appointments, and are a definite deterrent to local tourism.
The government is also behind on a number of its promises, including the creation of affordable housing units. This will be disappointing to local seniors who have expressed a need for these units, with access to appropriate supports.
On a positive note, the Legislative session produced a very successful outcome for Loon Lake residents, who saw their community fire hall destroyed by the 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire. Since the previous location was not considered adequate due to insurance considerations, the community lobbied the government to remove some land from Loon Lake Park to rebuild the facility.
The Environment Minister heard our voices loud and clear, and introduced a bill to grant this request, which was passed successfully in the House. A big thank you to everyone who advocated for this important project.
I look forward to seeing you out and about this summer!