MLA Report: June 2012

It’s been a busy spring in Victoria-Beacon Hill. I’ve enjoyed meeting many constituents, and seeing firsthand some of the excellent work of organizations in our community.

My federal and provincial colleagues and I spent a day each at the UVic and Camosun Lansdowne campuses, speaking to students about the work of constituency offices, and how we can assist citizens to access and navigate government programs. We spoke with students about student loans, voting away from home, working and studying abroad, and tenancy and employment issues, among other topics.

During Volunteer Week, I visited some of the many outstanding helpers at Our Place, and thanked them for the important work they do day in and day out. On Earth Day, I joined with other local MLAs and MPs on the lawn at the Legislature to promote conservation and concern for our fragile environment.

Earlier in May, I had the great pleasure of meeting Janine Annett, a remarkable grade nine student from Campbell River. Janine walked the length of Vancouver Island, from Port Hardy to Victoria, to raise awareness and money for child poverty locally and globally, one step at a time. My colleague, MLA Claire Trevena and I met Janine on the steps of the Legislature on May 3rd, the conclusion of her remarkable journey. What an inspiration. Well done, Janine!

I was also inspired by the grade four and five students at Sir James Douglas Elementary when I visited them on May 11th. They asked excellent questions about the provincial government and the role of an MLA.

It’s been a hectic spring at the Legislature, too. I worked with Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis to help her constituent, Sharen (Jolayne) Gammon, get nutritional supplements from the Ministry of Social Development to aid her in her fight with both blood and breast cancer. We raised the issue repeatedly with the government, and as public pressure built, the Ministry finally relented and agreed to cover most of the cost of the supplement for Ms. Gammon.

It was my great pleasure to present statements in the Legislature highlighting some exceptional individuals and organizations in our province. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to talk about the mill fire in Burns Lake, Black History Month, community leader Naz Rayani, Social Work Week, First Voices, Daffodil Month, the Downtown Victoria Business Association’s reCYCLISTS program, and the Victoria Foundation’s Vital Youth Program.

On Sunday, May 27th I participated once again at the World Partnership Walk at Beacon Hill Park. It is Canada’s largest annual event dedicated to raising funds and awareness to fight global poverty, held in 10 cities across Canada.

Over the summer and fall, I will be hosting open houses in various neighbourhoods around Victoria-Beacon Hill. Please watch for notices in your area. I feel honoured to represent our community and each and every day in my work I am reminded of the many people and organizations who make it such a wonderful place to live.