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Newsletter from MLA/Minister Katrine Conroy

Katrine Conroy
By Katrine Conroy
May 24th, 2024

Dear Community Members,

Since February, I’ve been working with Premier David Eby and my BCNDP MLA colleagues in the Legislature to pass legislation that will make a difference to people in B.C.

The cost-of-livinghealth care, and housing – these are the issues I hear about from people like you, constituents and community members and hardworking British Columbians who want a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

This spring we’ve been taking action to continue strengthening our healthcare system and supporting healthcare workers. Through the work that we’ve been doing and policies like our Healthcare Human Resources Program, we’ve welcomed 700 new doctors to family practice and 6,300 new nurses to B.C. this year. We also are making one round of IVF free, so people who need these health treatments can better access them.

Our government has been working to create more affordable homes for people. We launched BC Builds to bring more housing quicker for middle-income people, the regular everyday British Columbians who want to have a home for the long-term. We strengthened protections for both tenants and landlords, and launched more incentives for homeowners to build secondary suites. We also reined in short-term rentals and introduced a tax on house flipping, so that more homes can be used for people to live in, not profit from.

We’re also continuing work to ease the cost of living and financial pressures on people. We provided an ICBC rebate to drivers, and are keeping ICBC rates steady for the coming years. We’ve boosted and expanded the B.C. family benefit, introduced a BC Hydro credit to save more people money on their bills. We’re also continuing to expand ChildCare spaces so more people can access affordable child care in their communities.

Our government has also passed legislation and brought forward policies and programs to keep communities safe and build stronger economies for people. We’re protecting teachers and students from disruptive protests at their schools, reaching agreements with social media companies to work together to keep children safe online, and we passed important anti-racism legislation, so more people can feel safe and welcome in their communities and homes. We cut taxes for more small businesses by doubling the Employer Health Tax exemption, launched an industrial blueprint to drive investment and create more jobs, and we’ve begun the largest expansion of B.C.’s clean electricity system.

This work we’ve been doing is all for you, the people of B.C. who know these issues deeply and personally. We’re going to continue this work to make life better for the everyday people in B.C., here in our community and beyond.

The B.C. Government is helping ensure that local fairs, festivals and events can provide fun and excitement for residents and visitors alike.

Across B.C., $15 million in funding will support 1,114 fairs, festivals, and events in 2024 and 2025.

We’re excited to announce that eleven different local events and festivals have received funding in Kootenay West through the Fairs, Festivals and Events grant program! Congratulations to the following organizations!

 TransRockies Inc., Singletrack 6 Race — $22,300;

 City of Trail, Trail Silver City Days — $6,400;

 Trail and District Arts Counci, Music In The Park — $5,600;

 Trail & District Chamber of Commerce., Kootenay Coffee Fest — $2,000;

 Red Mountain Resort, Between The Peaks — $19,700;

 Rossland Council for Arts and Culture, Wood Carving Symposium and Arts & Culture Festival — $3,700;

 Rossland Council for Arts and Culture, 2024/25 Performance Series — $2,200;

 Rossland Historical Museum & Archives Association, Arts & Culture Festival — $2,000;

 Castlegar Sculpturewalk Society, Night of Fire 2024 — $2,000;

 City of Castlegar, Winterfest — $2,000;

 City of Castlegar, Canada Day Community Celebration — $2,000;

Program gets on the road again to help promote safety
People will be safer on B.C.’s roads with another round of support for 56 more communities that will further help prevent serious injuries and deaths. By investing in innovative solutions and community-driven initiatives, we not only aim to prevent collisions but also cultivate a culture of responsibility and care. A total of more than $866,000 has gone to 53 projects in 56 communities, including 22 projects in First Nations communities. This includes $17,000 to the Village of New Denver’s project of a crosswalk and associated signage, a sidewalk and curb ramp.

Communities benefit from support for crime prevention, victim services
People in British Columbia will benefit from projects working to advance community safety, address gender-based violence and support Indigenous healing through funding from the civil forfeiture grant program. This includes five projects are receiving a total of $327,111 in grants here in the Kootenays. Crime should never pay, and British Columbians are concerned about public safety in their communities. By providing funding to these projects, people across British Columbia will benefit from safer communities, support for victims of gender-based violence, and a stronger, more resilient province.

Province transformed ambulance system, record number of people supported
The province has transformed ambulance services with close collaboration with the BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) and CUPE 873/Ambulance Paramedics of BC (APBC), benefiting a record number of people. Since 2017, our government has made significant and long overdue changes to B.C.’s ambulance services in response to the pressures from population growth, COVID-19 pandemic, toxic-drug crisis and climate events, including heat, floods and wildfires. The progress we’ve made together to retain and recruit more paramedics and the investment we’ve made to add more ambulances have benefited people across the province, particularly those in rural and remote communities.

Rustad condones his candidate’s attack on abortion rights
It shows that Rustad is completely unwilling to stand up to his candidates who want to restrict the rights of women. If the B.C. Conservatives ever got near power in B.C., the impact on women could be horrific. It’s 2024. Someone who wants to be Premier of B.C. should be able to say they’re pro-choice.

Rustad and Falcon wheel and deal in corporate boardrooms while Eby takes action for people
While David Eby spent the spring taking action on what matters to people, John Rustad and Kevin Falcon spent the session opposing that action and focusing on themselves. This week they let it slip that corporate executives are trying to arrange a marriage of convenience through back channels. The next election will be decided at the kitchen table, not the boardroom table.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport has launched a broad public engagement to allow British Columbians across the province to provide input on establishing a first of its kind museum. This museum or cultural centre will highlight the histories, cultures, and contributions to BC from Canadians of diverse South Asian heritages. You can get involved in three different engagement opportunities, learn more on their website.

Join the conversation – important changes are taking place at the Royal BC Museum and Archives as they collaboratively envision the museum and provincial archive’s future. Take the BC Archives Survey, your participation, feedback, ideas, and thoughts are crucial to their success.

Categories: GeneralOp/EdPolitics

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