Dear Community Member,
The pandemic has been a challenging time for parents and kids in B.C.
While adjusting to new routines, figuring out online learning, and missing out on some summer activities, our kids have been remarkably resilient. But as we look towards September, it’s clear that being in the classroom, having time with their teachers, and getting to play with friends is important for students’ mental and emotional wellbeing. And we know parents want to make sure that their children and their families stay healthy and safe.
We announced a plan to welcome K-12 students back to school in September, and an investment of $45.6 million for increased cleaning, hand-hygiene stations, and masks available on request in our schools. The safety of students and staff is paramount, which is why we’ve put in place strict health and safety measures that were co-developed by public health officials and a steering committee that includes teachers, parents, and school support workers. Families can expect to hear from their local district throughout the summer about how they will be implementing health and safety measures.
This week we also announced the opening of the new mental health and substance use centre at Royal Columbian Hospital. With 75 inpatient beds, and outpatient services including a mood disorder clinic, substance-use clinic, and a specialized unit for seniors dealing with depression and anxiety, the centre will provide British Columbians with more access to care and support on their wellness journey.
Earlier in the week we announced more support for communities across the province to combat and respond to racism. Local organizations were selected to provide services in 40 communities as part of the new ResilienceBC network. They will work with the provincial hub organization – the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society – to identify priorities and work to address systemic and institutionalized racism in their communities.
Through CleanBC, our government is making e-bikes more affordable and accessible than ever with increased rebates, which will reduce climate pollution and put us on a road to a clean energy future. People who trade in a vehicle to scrap now have access to a rebate of $1,050 toward the purchase of any type of new e-bike — an increase of $200 from the previous year.
Finally, a reminder that we cannot afford to take a break from following public health guidance. Keeping groups small, washing your hands, and physically distancing from people outside your bubble remains incredibly important to slow the spread of COVID-19. Stick to socializing only with people you know, and remember “bigger spaces, fewer faces”.
As always, if you have any questions or need any assistance with provincial supports, please reach out. Our office is currently open via phone and email to support you. You can reach us at 604-660-1297 or firstname.lastname@example.org.