July 2016 MLA Report

During this spring’s sitting of the Legislature, Opposition members proposed real change for our province and for our communities. We stood up for the issues that people in B.C. care about. Sadly the government ignored all of these proposals, including two dozen Private Members Bills.

Here are just a few examples. Our bills would have made BC Hydro more affordable for low-income families, reduced speculation in the runaway property market, introduced campaign finance reform, and reduced poverty. They would have increased protection for tenants, ensured basic rights for transgendered citizens under the B.C. Human Rights Code, encouraged local food production and put limits on taxpayer-funded partisan advertising, among many other initiatives.

But every one of our Private Members Bills died on the order paper when the House adjourned on May 19th. None of them will become law. British Columbians deserve better from their government.

Now that summer is upon us, my attention is moving from the Legislature to the bounty of enticing events in our community. It’s going to be wonderful to spend time with family and friends, and get out to enjoy some of the many activities around Greater Victoria.

I look forward to the re-opening of our local farmer’s markets every year, and there’s no better place to find local produce and handmade arts and crafts. In our neighbourhood the James Bay Community Market runs on Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm; the Moss Street Market is on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm; and the Ship Point Night Market runs on some Friday and Saturday evenings through the summer: July 8th and 9th, August 5th, 6th, 26th, 27th, September 9th. 10th, 16th, and 17th.

I also look forward to the wide variety of events in our city each summer. We’re blessed to have so many festivals to enjoy with family and friends, or to entertain visitors from out of town.

Buskers turn our streets into mini-theatres during the Victoria International Buskers Festival in late July. Just head in the direction of the laughter.

Come hungry and leave happy at Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine, July 14th to 17th. Choose from 100 selections from our region’s vineyards, waters, fields and farms.

In late August, choose your shows, get your tickets and then enjoy 11 days of entertainment at the Victoria Fringe Festival. A month later, artists transform roadways into spectacular works of art at the Victoria International Chalk Festival.

Music fills the air and the Inner Harbour becomes a floating outdoor concert stage at 27th annual Victoria Symphony Splash on July 31st. It's the largest annual outdoor symphony event in Canada. There’s also the TD Victoria International Jazz Fest June 24th to July 3rd and the Vancouver Island Blues Bash on September 3rd.

Victoria Pride Week celebrates empowerment of the LGBTQ community. On July 10th celebrate diversity with the Gay Pride Parade, followed by a festival at McDonald Park here in James Bay.

The Dragon Boat Festival in mid-August features 90 teams, often in themed attire. Victoria’s maritime heritage comes alive at the Victoria Classic Boat Festival on the Labour Day weekend.

After all that excitement, sometimes it’s just good to unwind. Our parks and outdoor spaces are fabulous places for a walk, a jog, or a ride. Some of my favourites include a walk along Ogden Point, a picnic on the grounds of Government House, a stroll and afternoon tea at Abkhazi Garden, or a hike to the top of Gonzales Hill.

I hope you have a great summer, and that we get the opportunity to connect at one of the events over the next few months.