Spring is around the corner, which means Lunar New Year celebrations, cherry blossoms and, thankfully, more sunshine for our community.
I’ve been back and forth between Victoria and our community over the last few months, working on challenging files like ICBC, money laundering allegations at lower mainland casinos, and our government’s legal response to the Kinder Morgan pipeline that will increase sevenfold the number of bitumen filled tankers off of our local beaches.
Beyond these challenging issues, our government has been working on preparing a budget for 2018, building on our September update budget. You should expect this budget to include major initiatives related to serious issues in our community – housing and the availability and affordability of daycare. As you may know, February 13 was the throne speech and the budget will be released on the 20th. You can always watch the proceedings online: https://www.leg.bc.ca/documents-data/broadcasts-and-webcasts.
Implementation of our September initiatives is already underway, including an important announcement for our community, which is the long-overdue seismic upgrade at Bayview Elementary. We are seeing the initiation of a true governance study for the University Endowment Lands to reform their local government model, full university tuition support at UBC for children in government care, and so many more initiatives.
We have a busy legislative session planned for this spring. Important bills being introduced this spring will outline BC’s framework for cannabis legalization being brought forward by the Federal Government, as well as our initiatives to get ICBC back to financial sustainability by addressing road safety and distracted driving, limiting skyrocketing legal costs associated with minor injury claims, and introducing reforms to autobody repair costs that are up 30% in the last two years alone. I have appreciated the goodwill and civic-mindedness all of the constituents who have contacted my office to give us perspectives on these issues, as well as many others.
When not in Victoria, I’ve been in the office regularly meeting with community members, visiting with our mainstreet merchants, and stopping by community events like the last regular season games for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at UBC. I hope to see many of you on Saturday February 17th: UNA Lunar New Year celebration or the Chinatown Spring Festival on February 18th.
MLA, Vancouver Point Grey