I’m looking forward to getting back in to the Legislature this month. It’s been good to be back home and to connect with people her in our community. It’s left me re-energized and with new ideas to take back to Victoria. I’m looking ahead to new initiatives in our budget for 2019. We made a lot of progress in 2018 on which we need to build.
Last month our government announced the beginning of construction at Eagle Ridge Hospital for its expanded ER and for thousands of families province-wide we are reducing the cost of needed drugs through Fair Pharmacare.
For BC’s seniors to get the dignity of care they deserve, we’re increasing staffing levels at care homes across our province.
On housing, our 30-point plan is tackling the housing crisis. Needed affordable housing is finally getting built here in the Tri-Cities. There are 392 units in the works. The project furthest along is in our constituency – 100 non-market homes for families, seniors and people with disabilities on Emerson Street being built by Concert Real Estate with $10 million in support from our Community Housing Fund. There is $13.1 million for 131 co-op homes at the new Hoy Creek Housing Co-op and $7 million for 70 properties through the Affordable Housing Societies with this fund.
75 units of affordable housing are being built in partnership between the Como Lake United Church and BC Housing’s HousingHub. And 16 on-reserve homes for the Kwikwetlem First Nation are to be built through our new Indigenous Housing Fund.
We’ve also made changes to the residential tenancy act to help protect renters. Our seniors are receiving more help with housing costs with increases to the SAFER program. And we are tackling the speculation in our housing markets that has decoupled housing costs from the wages people earn.
For young families, our new childcare programs are working to make quality care both more available and more affordable. For school-aged children, we’ve increased the number of teachers. And here in Port Moody we’ve seen a new school open – École Moody Middle School of the Arts.
With this action on childcare, healthcare and housing, we are working to make life here more affordable. We are working to improve the services that people in our community depend on. Our reductions to MSP premiums, and their elimination in 2020, are the largest tax cut ever delivered to British Columbians.
I’m looking forward to this session and working with my new colleague Sheila Malcolmson, the MLA for Nanaimo. Sheila is a strong advocate for our environment and I’m glad she’ll be joining us in Victoria. Despite all this progress, there’s still so much more to do in 2019.
To those celebrating Lunar New Year, may you have good fortune and a prosperity in the coming year!
Thanks for your support,