BOUNDARY-SIMILKAMEEN MLA UPDATE: Another year goes by

Congratulations to municipal candidates, ag issues move forward, fall legislative session and more.

At this time of the calendar year we ask ourselves, “Where did the months go? And am I really another year older!?”

There have been a number of highway projects completed this year throughout the Boundary-Similkameen. Repaving projects have taken place at Bromley Rock to Stirling Bridge, Cawston to Nighthawk, and Chapman Road to Wapita Way on Anarchist Mountain. In addition, work has been completed on the road to Big White and Highway 33 interchange.

The fall Legislative sitting wrapped up on Nov. 27 and MLAs, including yours truly, are back in their ridings catching up with constituents and attending community events. The 40th Parliament also marks a significant milestone in the history of women in government. Since the first woman, Mary Ellen Smith, opened the door in 1918, the number of women elected to the B.C. Legislative Assembly now numbers exactly 100. It is also worth mentioning that in November’s elections, 37 per cent of those elected to municipal and regional governments and school boards were women.

Congratulations to all candidates who put their names forward on the ballot. To those who were elected, I am looking forward to working with all of you over the next four years as you represent your communities. I am planning to meet with the new faces and reconnect with returning council and regional district elected officials when I am back in the constituency.

In my role as Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility, I will continue to meet with organizations who focus on creating an inclusive environment for people with disabilities and improving accessibility to employment for all. Every person has a contribution to make, and a skill that matched with the right employer is a benefit to both. Sometimes accommodations need to be made to ensure the work environment is compatible for an employee with a disability. There are so many agencies that offer the necessary support to help with these transitions.

The agriculture community got one item marked off its wish list with the Premier’s announcement of continued support for the replant program. Thank you to all the farmers who met with me and helped to move this issue forward.

It is the season of meeting and greeting neighbours and friends so I am going to stress, once again, the value of a flu shot. It is not just for you but for all you come in contact with, or those who may have compromised immune systems.

As we are approaching the end of 2014, I would to thank my staff in Oliver, Colleen and Patt, for keeping up with calls and correspondence and Marissa, in Victoria, for keeping me and my calendar organized.

To my constituents of Boundary-Similkameen, I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Don’t forget to contribute to your local food banks and charitable organizations who help the less fortunate at this time of year.

Finally, our Boundary-Similkameen constituency Christmas Open House will be held on Friday, Dec. 19 in Oliver at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Cappuccino Bar located at 6041 Main St. from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Please join us for some holiday cheer!

Linda Larson is the MLA for Boundary-Similkameen