Alberni-Pacific Rim encompasses the communities of Arrowsmith (Errington, Coombs, Hilliers, Whiskey Creek), Dashwood through Lighthouse Country (Horne Lake, Spider Lake, Qualicum Bay, Bowser, Deep Bay), and the Alberni Valley through to the west coast.

Winter 2015

The 2015 BC Liberal budget presented in February provides for a $230 million tax break to the top 2% paid for by BC families. Already-stretched families will continue to face more fee and rate hikes this year and continue to get less in services – 4% hike in MSP premiums, 6% hike in hydro rates, an increase in ICBC premiums, ferry fare hikes, higher tolls and camping fees. Our families need a break! From 2006 to 2012, real wages fell while wages in most of the rest of Canada went up. There are 2,500 fewer people working in forestry than when the Liberals took office; 1,500 mining jobs gone since 2011. The Premier’s job plan was to lobby the federal government to loosen the rules so foreign companies can exploit more lower-wage, temporary foreign workers. Our two school districts, not unlike all districts in the province, are again being affected by cuts to the education system in this year’s budget. They are being forced to make tough decision at the local level. I will be meeting with both boards to hear their specific concerns and challenges. Many of you contact my community office concerned about our health care system. This recent budget does not include a plan to address hallway medicine, to keep the promise that BC would have a “GP for ME by 2015” or to increase the number of nurse practitioners and expand team-based care. Seniors are getting fewer hours of home care and standards in nursing homes are falling. We, in the Official Opposition, have been clear that the plan to allocate more hunting opportunities to...

Fall 2014

After a beautiful but very dry summer, the much needed rains have arrived and we are having a rare fall sitting of the legislature.  We, in the Official Opposition, applaud teachers for standing up for public education during the recent dispute.  They stood up to an uncaring government that showed it would rather provoke and disrespect teachers than make schools better for our kids by providing vital classroom supports. Students have now settled into the new school year. The very short Throne Speech which opened this session was all about LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).  The speech promises a comprehensive legislative framework for LNG, but the premier has backed down on every major commitment she made around LNG.  No mention of the promised 100,000 jobs, eliminating the provincial debt or the magical Prosperity Fund, or having the cleanest LNG facilities in the world. We need guarantees of jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians and a fair return for our resources, assurances that the industry benefits First Nations, and protection of our land, air and water. Across our constituency, issues around access to timely health care, jobs and skills training, seniors, homelessness, transportation, agriculture, and environmental resource protection continue to flow into my community office. My opposition colleagues and I will continue to bring these issues forward during this session. Read Scott Fraser’s response to the Throne...

Letter to the editor regarding education

Our province’s students, parents, and teachers deserve better than what they’ve been getting from the BC Liberal government for the past 12 years. Having walked and talked with our teachers in School Districts 69 and 70 during their recent job action, I have heard firsthand the genuine concern for their students, as well as how working conditions have deteriorated under this government.

Together we can save the ALR

A bill introduced by the BC Liberal government will break apart the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), removing protections from 90% of BC farmland and putting it at risk of industrial development.

Amenity-Based Rural Development

In early June, I co-sponsored a morning session with Bill Veenhof, RDN Director at the VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station. Group discussions followed a presentation by Dr. Nicole Vaugeois on the topic of Amenity-Based Rural Development.

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French Creek Community School & Teachers

Many Coombs residents enjoyed the annual Coombs Community Picnic held at the French Creek Community School on June 6th. The 102-year-old facility is slated to close at the end of this school year, and I am assisting a group of concerned citizens in asking  the Education Minister, Peter Fassbender, to appoint a Special Advisor to evaluate the school district’s facility review consultation process.

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