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Weekly Newsletter from MLA/Minister Conroy

Katrine Conroy
By Katrine Conroy
May 17th, 2024

Hello Everyone,

I would like to let you know that I made an announcement last week that I won’t be seeking re-election this fall.

This has been one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in a long time.

It has been an absolute honor to have represented the people of this Region since 2005. First as MLA for “West Kootenay Boundary”, then “Kootenay West” and now “Kootenay Monashee”.

My colleagues might disagree, but I know it’s one of the most beautiful constituencies in the province with amazing people — from the northern boundary of Nakusp and Trout Lake to the US border south of Rossland with all the incredible communities in between — thank you for welcoming me to your towns, villages, cities and regional districts, to your homes, fairs, and events of all kinds. Even if we didn’t always agree on everything I always felt welcomed.

No one gets here without the support of so many people. I hardly know where to start, because there have been so many of you!

My Constituency Executive over the years has been there to get me elected and support me in so many ways. Your unwavering commitment to our Party and to me has helped me to do this job for so many years. There have been a number of you and I can’t name you all individually but I do want to thank Duff Sutherland who has been our President for years. It’s tough to run meetings and a constituency association but you have always done it with class and efficiency getting us through so many meetings, events and elections….thank you!!!!

To the amazing staff I have had in my local constituency office, you have been there for me in so many ways, Elaine Whitehead, Edena Brown, Cyra Yunkws, Angelika Brunner and Sarah Brownlee. You have been the incredible people who have served our constituents. I’ve always said that I got re-elected because of the work you do, helping people when they are often struggling in such a compassionate and supportive way…thank you!

To all the staff I have had in Victoria, so many of you who have made my 19 years amazing. You are all what makes things work in Victoria, whether in opposition as a Legislative assistant, supporting me in communications or research or when we formed government in 2017 and you supported me as a Minister, our government is so incredibly fortunate to have you all doing the work you do. In my roles as Minister of Children and Families, Forests, “All Things Columbia”, and Finance you have all been stellar.

There have been tough times and really good times and you have all been there for me in so many ways. Thank you.

And thank you to Premiers Horgan and Eby who had the courage to appoint this rural woman to cabinet. With their support we have accomplished so many things as government and I know that in the Fall we will be re-elected to continue to support everyone in B.C., whether it’s through our affordability measures like child care or ensuring people get the services they need and showing we can have a thriving economy, one of the best in Canada, while also bringing in initiatives to support a clean economy — so many positive initiatives it would be difficult to list them all.

And last but not least my family…you have all been there for me, and Ed before me. As my son Ben reminded me, “Mom, there has been a Conroy on the ballot since 1986 when dad first ran as a school board trustee.” To put it in perspective, he was 2 in ’86 (he’s 40 today). That’s 38 years of our family supporting both of us in public service to our communities.

To our kids Jen, Wyllie, Sasha and Ben, their spouses and 9 kids (my grands), my siblings and my inlaws, my many nephews and nieces. Thank you, thank you, thank you!…Although this will mean no help in upcoming parades, it means much more time together, more family dinners at the farm, Kaelin and Moss, and yes more sleepovers, Sayge and Sarah!

Again, it has been an honor to serve not only the people of the Region but the entire province. I have met so many people, many who will always have a special place in my heart.

I will continue to work as your MLA and the Minister of Finance until the fall. There’s still work to do, so my official retirement won’t start until someone is elected to replace me. Our constituency Executive will be announcing the nomination date very soon. And it’s my understanding there are interested candidates.

So again, thank you everyone!

Katrine Conroy

MLA Kootenay West

May is Child Care Month, and whether you’re a parent, grandparent, family member, or loved one of a child, we all know the importance of accessible, safe, affordable child care for children and families alike. Access to child care means parents can participate in the workforce or pursue further education, and means that children can gain valuable social and life skills in a fun, safe environment.
Since we first formed government, we’ve prioritized access to child care for all – helping build more child care in communities and reducing the costs for families. We’ve also been supporting ECEs with enhanced wages, support with education costs, and professional development in order to attract and retain more care providers.
We’re investing to build a future where everyone can access and depend on affordable, inclusive, quality childcare, making life more affordable for millions of British Columbians.
This work is already changing lives for families, including here in Kootenay West, just last month families in Beaver Valley are benefiting from a new child care centre in Fruitvale with 37 new spaces, allowing parents to pursue work, school and other opportunities.
Throughout this month, let’s make sure to thank the hardworking early childhood educators and providers who make quality, inclusive childcare possible.

Secondary suite program launches, creating thousands more homes for people
We’re taking action to bring more affordable long-term rentals for British Columbians. Homeowners can now apply for loan for 50% of the cost of renos, up to $40K, to build a secondary suite. The loan is forgivable if they rent out the suite at below-market rates for at least five years. This is just one piece of our Homes for People plan, bringing more homes to British Columbians, faster.

Protections coming for residents of manufactured home parks
People shouldn’t be subject to rules that can change every two weeks. Manufactured home parks are an important option for people in this province, often providing affordable housing. People living in manufactured home parks will benefit from the added stability these changes will bring to the park rules, which can be complicated and sometimes lead to preventable evictions if they are not complied with.

Expanded heat pump program helps British Columbians save on home-energy costs 
We’re increasing the maximum rebate caps on heat pumps from $9,500 to $16,000 for eligible residents!! Even more British Columbians can now benefit from affordable, efficient, clean energy upgrades – like heat pumps – to their homes. With the support of our federal government partners, we’re helping make sure that nobody gets left out when it comes to making smart energy upgrades to their home, through the CleanBC Better Homes Energy Savings Program.

Minister’s statement on April Labour Force Survey results
Facing high interest rates and slower global economic growth, B.C. remained strong gaining 23,400 jobs in April and 93,000 since this time last year. Our private-sector gain of 23,100 jobs in April is the largest among provinces. Our unemployment rate is now the lowest in the country at 5%.

The City of Rossland is creating a new Accessibility Plan aimed at enhancing the quality of life of all residents, irrespective of age, background, or ability. This initiative underscores our commitment to fostering inclusivity and equal participation in community life. There are several ways to give input from now until June 3, 2024. To learn more, register for a focus group, and fill out the survey, please visit: Rossland Accessibility Plan – Rossland

Being FireSmart starts with being prepared. This May long weekend, help keep you and your community safe:
• Stay up to date on wildfire activity and other potential emergencies in BC: EmergencyInfoBC.ca
• Follow local fire bans and restrictions: BCWildfire.ca
• Check your route before traveling: DriveBC.ca
• Create a grab-and-go bag: PreparedBC.ca
If you see signs of wildfire, report it on the BC Wildfire Service app, dial *5555 on a cellphone or call 1 800 663-5555.

Categories: GeneralOp/EdPolitics

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