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Weekly newsletter from MLA/Minister Conroy

Katrine Conroy
By Katrine Conroy
March 23rd, 2024

March is kidney health month!

This week I met with Castlegar Sunrise Rotary Club members including Gwen Chernenkoff to chat about the The Kidney Foundation of Canada Walk. As a living donor I know first hand just how much this walk raises funds that directly support families. It was fabulous to share my mine and my family’s experience as well as answer questions regarding different types of donors and ways to support.

British Columbia’s beauty and opportunities attract people from Canada and around the world. People want to live and raise their families here, so it is key that we invest in our communities to support the people living here and those who are joining our neighbourhoods.

That is why our government is investing a record $43 billion in funding to support people and address the unique needs of every community in B.C. We are taking action to build the schools, hospitals, homes, and infrastructure people need to thrive in their community.

Our initiatives are already making a difference for people in B.C. – through programs such as the Community Housing Fund we invested $3.3-billion to build more than 20,000 affordable rental homes for moderate and low-income households by 2031-32. This includes;

  • Trail, 1955 Seventh Ave.: 41 homes for seniors, in partnership with Trail and District Senior Citizens’ Villa Society.
  • Castlegar, 925 Columbia Ave.: 68 homes for families, seniors and people living with disabilities, in partnership with Lu’ma Native Housing Society.

Education is the cornerstone of building vibrant communities where our children can thrive. Recognizing this, we are investing a record $3.75 billion over the next three years to build and expand schools, make crucial seismic upgrades, and buy land for future schools. Our ongoing investment in school maintenance projects ensures that students have access to clean, safe, and modern learning environments.

Climate change is also putting more pressure on our community infrastructure. To keep people safer, we are investing $39 million for more than 50 local disaster-risk reduction and climate-adaptation projects. Including $814,992 to Kootenay Boundary Regional District. 

Linda Worley, board chair, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary – “The CEPF grant marks a significant milestone in our journey toward strengthening a fundamental and often overlooked essential component in our Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Adaptation process: building healthy watersheds. We’re grateful to the Province for underscoring the importance of prioritizing and restoring our rural riparian habitats, essential natural assets, and strengthening community involvement and participation. Thank you for standing alongside us as we make meaningful strides toward a safer, more sustainable future.”

This funding will be used by local governments and First Nations to make necessary changes to keep our communities secure against climate-related hazards. We are also training more Emergency Support Services volunteers and investing in equipment and supplies, so that when emergencies happen, help is there.

We are committed to supporting growing communities across British Columbia. We believe that these efforts will not only enhance people’s quality of life but also contribute to the continued prosperity of our province.

Province strengthens flood defences, protecting people, communities
The climate crisis is here, and we need communities to adapt and strengthen their defences against flooding and other extreme-weather events. We are working with local governments and First Nations to reduce disaster risk and better prepare people and communities for the impacts of climate change. More communities will benefit from local projects that help keep people safe during disasters and extreme-weather events.“Floodplain mapping will provide the community of Warfield with accurate information to help people stay safe now, and make decisions with future risks in mind,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “Our government is committed to working with communities to prepare for and reduce the impacts of climate change for people.”
Village of Warfield received $150,000 for Trail Creek Floodplain Mapping.

March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month!

Our constituency office visited Columbia River Pharmacy in downtown Castlegar to discuss a few items including Minor Ailments and Contraception Service (MACS)Opioid Agonist Treatment, and Rural Incentive Program.

Streamlined volunteer training, new funding better supports evacuees
Last summer, we heard from people who wanted to help evacuees but faced barriers in getting trained to do so. We’re acting on lessons learned by rolling out a new one-day training option to enable more people to respond in times of need, so that evacuees are supported in an effective and timely manner. More Emergency Support Services (ESS) responders will be prepared to provide support to evacuees during emergencies thanks to new streamlined training. Castlegar is receiving $18,564.50.

New technology reduces mining’s environmental impact
To combat climate change, we know that it is essential for industries to reduce their emissions. B.C. is home to a growing clean-energy sector, accounting for 20% of Canada’s world-leading clean-tech firms that are having positive impacts globally. New advanced chemical processes being developed and refined in British Columbia will give the mining industry a way to extract critical minerals with almost no net environmental impact.

Province creates clearer pathways for workers coming to B.C.
The province is creating clearer pathways for international workers coming to B.C., making it harder for predatory recruiters and other bad actors to take advantage of people. The BC Provincial Nominee Program is one of several pathways available to newcomers who want to build a good life in British Columbia. That’s why we’re updating the BC PNP selection criteria to better reflect the level of education, experience and language skills that set people up for career success in British Columbia.

Categories: GeneralOp/EdPolitics

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