Pull of the Tide
Happy New Year, and thank you to The Local Weekly for providing this column space to me. It is a privilege to be able to share the things we are working on together, as a community and for Canada.
A few weeks ago, on December 17th, we spent the day meeting one on one with our newly elected local leaders. Lucie McKiernan, our Sunshine Coast staff representative, and I began the day with tea and homemade cookies in SCRD Board Chair Lori Pratt’s office, followed by lunch at Shift in the Trail Bay Mall with Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers, followed by a mid-afternoon meeting in the Gibsons council chamber with Mayor Bill Beamish.
Several common themes emerged from our discussions, beginning with the ongoing need for investment in infrastructure – from wastewater management, solid waste management and water storage, to the rebuilding or upgrading of Granthams Hall and Coopers Green Hall, to improving the ramp at Molly’s Reach, to the need for firefighting equipment for Vauxcroft. For the past three years we have championed applications for federal infrastructure funding together, and we will continue to work in close collaboration.
Affordable housing is another priority. In 2018 the Government of Canada signed a bilateral agreement with the province of British Columbia, to provide additional resources for affordable housing and to achieve a reduction in homelessness. BC Housing and local governments and agencies are critical partners in this regard.
We continue to work on the issue of derelict vessels. On December 10 the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act (Bill C-64) received royal assent in the Senate. Bill C-64 increases vessel owner liability and strengthens the government’s response in cases where owners do not behave responsibly regarding disposal of their boats. Measures include improving vessel owner identification, creating an inventory of vessels, assessing their risks, and establishing a polluter-pays approach for vessel clean-up.
Complex care and hospice care are ongoing challenges. Although both fall within provincial jurisdiction, federal money has been invested through the Canada Health Accord, in recognition of these needs and I will continue to advocate for provincial support.
Thank you to Chair Pratt, Mayor Siegers and Mayor Beamish for your collaborative spirit. I look forward to continuing to support local and regional governments, at every opportunity. My team and I look forward to serving you in 2019, as always.
Please visit: www.pgoldsmithjones.liberal.ca for more information. I welcome your thoughts – Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, connect with us on Facebook: Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, or drop by our office in Horseshoe Bay, 6367 Bruce Street 604-913-2660.