Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Update on the CRD’s Wastewater Treatment Project – Saanich South

Source: CRD WTP Construction Notice, August 9 2017
Starting on August 21st, the Wastewater Treatment Project (WTP) will be using truck-mounted equipment to drill approximately 70 boreholes along the proposed route of the “residual solids conveyance line”, from the treatment plant in Esquimalt to the Hartland Landfill. 

Each borehole will take several hours to drill and traffic may be reduced to a single lane during this time. Drilling will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week (except on the Labour day weekend). Hours will be reduced on weekdays in higher traffic volume areas. It is estimated this work will take six weeks to complete.

The purpose of the drilling is to assess the subsurface conditions of the proposed route. 

In addition there will be other preliminary geophysical work along certain sections of the proposed route to identify the bedrock profile along areas on Interurban Road, Interurban Trail, and Willis Point Road.

The WTP has committed to hold public information meetings in Saanich in the fall of this year. The purpose of these meetings will be to share information and receive public input on the proposed conveyance line route and pumping stations.

It is my understanding that at least two public meetings will be held this fall in Saanich South, with one meeting in the Strawberry Vale/Marigold area and the other in the Prospect Lake/Willis point area.

The WTP has also committed to create a Saanich community liaison committee before the scheduled start of construction, the Spring of 2018. This committee will be comprised of members of Saanich Community Associations and WTP staff and it would work to address specific issues before and during the construction phase.

For more information:
https://www.crd.bc.ca/docs/default-source/wastewater-planning-2014/crd_wtp_construction_geotechnical_work_residual_solids_conveyance_linefinal---august-09.pdf?sfvrsn=891d04ca_0
http://saanichsouth.blogspot.ca/2017/07/update-on-wastewater-treatment-project.html
https://saanichsouth.blogspot.ca/2016/12/saanich-news-concerns-remain-over.html 

Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Quick update on my work as Minister of Agriculture

Good Morning! 

I wanted to give you a bit of an update on what has been happening over the past week. I've had more than a few messages asking me "What's going on?"

For starters let me say that this has been a week that is comparable to none that I have ever experienced.

After I was sworn in the work started immediately. It's a very difficult time for many in BC due to the intense forest fires. The agriculture community has been directly and greatly affected and so that has been a concern and focus for the Ministry of Agriculture. We are lucky to have excellent partners across the province who are showing incredible leadership and who are helping guide us in a way that is most helpful. Please accept my utmost appreciation to everyone involved.

Throughout this past 11 days I have been in numerous briefing meetings with staff at the Ministry of Agriculture getting me up to speed. Let me say that we have an incredible team of people working in the Ministry and I feel grateful to be the newest member. 


Below is a link to the Mandate letter given to me by the Premier of BC John Horgan.

I will work harder than I have ever worked to complete my mandate and to make our food systems better in BC.
I'll try and keep you updated as much as possible...at times it might just be a recipe.  Thanks for all of your support!

Lana

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/government/ministries-organizations/premier-cabinet-mlas/minister-letter/popham-mandate.pdf

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Saanich News: The Role of an MLA

MLA Report
By Lana Popham
Reprinted from the Saanich News, July 26, 2017


Given the recent big changes in B.C. politics now seems like a good moment to describe the duties and responsibilities of an MLA.
An MLA – or Member of the Legislative Assembly – is your elected representative in the Legislature of British Columbia. Each MLA is responsible for representing a different geographical area, called a “riding” or “constituency”. B.C. is carved up into 87 ridings (each with between 35,000-50,000 people), meaning that 87 individuals represent the 4.6 million residents of B.C.
Once elected, MLAs are expected to represent all people who live in their ridings, regardless of differences such as social standing, age, income, or political views. In my opinion, the most important aspect to this is to advance efforts that improve our shared quality of life, both in the riding and across the province.
Broadly, my work as an MLA happens in three different categories: contributing to the work of the legislature, finding solutions for issues in my riding, and assisting individual with problems or concerns related to the provincial government.
Much of the work I do takes place at the legislature in downtown Victoria. Provincial governments have significant power under the Canadian Constitution to make laws in a wide variety of areas, such as health care, education, agriculture and the environment. As a member of John Horgan’s B.C. New Democratic minority government, I will contribute to this work and give voice to the concerns and priorities of constituents in Saanich South.
Another large part of my job is to help solve problems in the riding I represent. For instance, I worked hard to improve safety at the intersection of the Pat Bay Highway and Sayward Road. It used to be one of the most dangerous intersections on the South Island, but after holding several community consultations and meeting with the Ministry of Transportation I was able to secure $3 million in safety upgrades for the intersection. Thankfully, data since the new upgrades has shown a significant decrease in the accident rate.
I also assist people who are struggling with issues that involve the provincial government and its various branches. Just since I was re-elected two months ago, I have helped a senior couple access respite care after they were wrongly told they would not be able to; helped a local business owner who was having problems with the provincial sales tax; met with Saanich teachers to discuss issues they are facing in the classroom; and advocated for homeowners worried about the CRD’s Wastewater Treatment Project at the Hartland Landfill.
In addition, MLAs who are part of the government often have additional responsibilities such as leading a ministry (which is a section of the public service). Earlier this month I was appointed to the cabinet to serve as the minister of agriculture for British Columbia. This Ministry has responsibilities such as strengthening agriculture and food security, protecting animals and ensuring food safety. Much of this work is done in partnership with the federal government. As a former organic farmer, this role is a dream come true.
Detailed information on what I do in the community and my work record is available at www.saanichsouth.ca. It is a privilege to serve as your representative in the government of British Columbia, and I am excited to see what the coming months and years will bring. If you require assistance with a branch of the provincial government, please contact me and I will do my absolute best to assist you. As well, I am always open to your feedback on any provincial matter.
Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South and the Minister of Agriculture for British Columbia. Her community office is located at 4085 Quadra Street and can be reached at 250 479 4154.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Update on the Wastewater Treatment Project in Saanich South

MLA Popham received a briefing from the Wastewater Treatment Project team on 6 July 2017.

Subsequent to that a flyer titled “Project Update #3 – July 2017” was sent out to most residents in the CRD with additional information. Copies of this flyer are available at the Constituency Office.

One of the central issues Popham raised was the importance of engaging the affected communities on a schedule which would allow their input and concerns to be taken into consideration. This is consistent with her article on this matter in the Saanich News. (Link here) This article also raises a number of concerns with the project and the process.

Popham was told that the Project Team wanted to do community consultations after they had enough of the plan put together so that they could meaningfully answer questions such as likely route of the pipeline. However, there was agreement that the consultations should be held early enough so that input from the community could inform the plan itself.

At the meeting, Popham requested that no less than two public consultations be held in Saanich South this Fall. Other public meetings have already been held in Victoria and Esquimalt as the plan for those areas is being implemented first and in fact is already well underway. Popham was also told that the WTP meets regularly with Saanich.

Popham specified that at least two public meetings in Saanich South were required because there would be general concerns regarding the pipeline in the Strawberry Vale/Marigold area and additional specific concerns in the Willis Point and Prospect Lake areas regarding the biosolid storage and eventual treatment at Hartland. She suggested one meeting be held at Spectrum School and another at the Prospect Lake Hall.

Regarding Hartland. The CRD is currently developing a plan for what to do with the biosolids. It is our understanding that they are planning to use anaerobic digestion in steel tanks or “biocell reactors” Biocells are a ‘closed loop cell’. Resources, including gas and material can be recovered. There would be an end product of Class A biosolids and that would need to be removed from Hartland at some point and in some form. The CRD reports that the facility must have the capacity to treat 32,000kg/day of residual solids.

At this meeting Popham raised concerns including the proposed cost of the project, the uncertainty of how the waste will be treated, the risks to waterways, contamination of well water, air quality and traffic disturbances.

The WTP gave Popham an informational binder which they committed to keep updated. It is at the Constituency Office and available for public inspection.

We are happy to continue working with concerned residents on any issues they have with this project. Please feel free to contact the office at any time.

Finally, it may be of interest to note that the WTP Board has a public meeting on the last Thursday of each month and visitors are able to ask questions.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Canada at 150

Just a century and a half ago, Canada as we know it was created by confederation. We have achieved so much since then.

Over the last 150 years we have built a diverse country that shines as a beacon of opportunity for people throughout the world. 

We have worked together to make Canada  a safe and prosperous country that prides itself on how we take care of each other.

Today is a day to celebrate how far we’ve come since confederation. We have much to be proud of!

It is my hope that on this day we will also redouble our commitment to take on the challenges that await. Let us be inspired by the accomplishments of the past 150 years to seek a better future for the next 150 years.

We must do more to recognize the rights and titles of Indigenous peoples who have called this land home for thousands of years. We can do more to address the wrongs committed in the creation of Canada and create true reconciliation with the First Nations of this land.

And we need to continue to fight racism, discrimination and social injustice to ensure our communities are fair and offer opportunities to everyone.

Furthermore we must do much more to address the great challenge of our time: climate change. The impacts of human-caused global warming could be devastating to our environment if we don't act now. 

Today let us celebrate what is wonderful about Canada!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

41st Parliament begins today

Oath ceremony with Leader John Horgan, 8/6/17
Dear Constituents,

Thank you for your support!

It is an honour to continue serving Saanich South in the BC Legislature!

This morning the 41st session began with the election of a Speaker. In just a few minutes I will take my seat in the House to hear the BC Liberals Throne Speech. They are trying to show they have the confidence of a majority of the MLAs elected in BC and have promised a speech full of big promises.

A big problem for them is that they most certainly DO NOT have the confidence of the House. Christy Clark and the BC Liberals are pursuing a strategy of delay and distraction. BC deserves better than that.

A majority of voting British Columbians chose the BC NDP or the Greens in the election last month. The BC NDP has signed an accord with the Greens and we are ready to govern.

I'm excited to get to work in a new BC NDP government. There is a lot of important and urgent work to be done - there is no more time for BC Liberal games. British Columbians voted for new leadership that works for regular people instead of just those at the top.

We’re ready to deliver it.

While all this drama continues at the Legislature, I am working hard with my team in the Saanich South Constituency Office. For example, here is a column I wrote this week for the Saanich News. It is an update on remediation efforts for Elk and Beaver Lake.

Warm regards, Lana

MLA Saanich South

Monday, June 19, 2017

Saanich News: CRD shores up remediation for Elk and Beaver lakes

MLA Report
By Lana Popham
Reprinted from the Saanich News, June 18, 2017

I’m pleased to report that progress is being made on remediation efforts for Elk Lake and Beaver Lake.
This is an issue that’s been close to my heart for quite some time – I wrote an opinion piece for the Saanich News close to a year ago highlighting the problems these two environmental treasures face.
Blooms of noxious cyanobacteria have become increasingly common over the past years, due to high level of phosphorous in the water. The resulting blue-green algae blooms can be poisonous to both dogs and swimmers.
Many of you may have noticed that the lakes have been regularly closed to the public because the health risk is too high. The health of fish in the lakes is also declining, and harmful aquatic weeds are spreading rapidly.
The deterioration of Elk and Beaver lakes is especially concerning given their importance in Saanich, and indeed, across the entire Capital Regional District. Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park is the most heavily-used park in the CRD with an astonishing 1.46 million visits in 2016. The lakes are also home to the National Rowing and National Triathlon teams, and are popular with recreational fishers and boaters as well. Walkers and runners (including myself!) frequent the trail that goes throughout the park, and the swimming beaches are so popular it can be hard to find a spot in summer.
One thing is clear: Elk and Beaver lakes need to be protected.
That’s why I’m pleased to see the CRD Regional Parks Committee is voting June 21 on two recommendations aiming to do exactly that.
The first recommendation is specific to Beaver Lake, and suggests purchasing an aeration system at a cost of around $40,000. This system would work to minimize algae growth, promote aquatic plants, discourage invasive species, and improve the recreational use of land. These are all desirable outcomes.
The second recommendation is specific to Elk Lake, and involves developing a business case for purchasing a high-efficiency, deep-water oxygenation system for Elk Lake. This system would be significantly more expensive – a one-time cost of $700,000 would be needed to purchase and install the equipment, and maintenance and operation costs over a 10-year period could average about $85,000 a year.
Although developing a business case (essentially a drawn-out cost/benefit analysis) means that Elk Lake will likely not receive a specialized system until at least the next fiscal year – which is disappointing – I am happy that the CRD is performing its due diligence to evaluate all options. This should ultimately minimize the cost of the project for taxpayers, as grants and external funding sources could be pursued. It is my hope, however, that progress will continue at a fast pace. Simply put, we don’t have time to lose.
I will continue to monitor this issue closely, and will provide more public updates as new information becomes available. Let’s work together on this issue to create a better Saanich, and a better British Columbia.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Working together to make life better for people


Dear Constituents,

Today the BC Liberal government announced it will recall the Legislature on June 22nd. The first order of business must be to elect a Speaker. The BC Liberal Government then intends to 'test the confidence of the House'. 

Tomorrow I will be sworn-in and will then formally be the MLA for Saanich South. 

Below is a message from Opposition Leader John Horgan. 

Last week B.C. New Democrats reached an historic agreement with the B.C. Greens to bring the change in government that B.C. voters told us they want. This agreement is about people and the change they voted for. It’s about getting things done for families. It’s about making exciting changes that will make life better for people.

We’re going to make life more affordable. We’re going to fix the services people count on. And we’re going to build a sustainable economy that works for everybody, and delivers good, stable, family-supporting jobs.

From health care to housing, from defending our coast to caring for our kids, we will work together to deliver change on what matters most to people.

Whether it is getting rid of unfair tolls, banning big money from politics, or ensuring our schools are equipped with basics like playgrounds and school supplies – there is so much a New Democrat government can do to make our province better for families.

I am very much looking forward to the coming weeks, when we will finally get the opportunity to form government and get to work for people.

Families have waited 16 years for high quality care for our vulnerable elders, and better access to family doctors. They have waited 16 years for their children to get out of portables and into real classrooms. They have waited 16 years for a government that takes our housing crisis seriously and takes real action to make life affordable for families.

In just a few short weeks B.C. New Democrats and B.C. Greens will work together to bring the change that British Columbians voted for. After 16 long years of waiting for solutions to so many problems, help is on the way.

Voters clearly said they want a government that works for people. A government that works together. And we will deliver on that government.

B.C. New Democrat and B.C. Green MLAs are not going to always agree on everything – but our agreement will give British Columbians a stable government, even should we disagree. I’m optimistic and excited for the future – because we agree on so very, very much.

New Democrats put forward a great platform during the election. It was a platform I was extremely proud of. It was about people and families and what matters to them the most. 

I intend to deliver on the commitments we made to the people of B.C., and on the priorities we share with the B.C. Greens.

Together, we have the confidence of the legislature, and the ability to govern. We can offer people the stability they want, the solutions they need and the results they deserve.

After 16 years of a government working for those at the top, we will have a government that works people. With the support of the B.C. Green MLAs, we will make life better for everyone in B.C.

I can’t wait to get started.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

B.C. New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses ratify historic agreement

MLA-Elects Lana Popham (BC NDP), Judy Darcy (BC NDP),
Sonia Furstenau (BC Green Party) and Adam Olsen (BC Green Party)
signing the Confidence and Supply Agreement, 30 May 2017
All 44 elected MLAs from the B.C. New Democrat and B.C. Green caucuses have ratified an agreement pledging to work together to support a stable New Democrat government that works for people.

"The people of B.C. spoke loud and clear on election day - they want a government that works for them, not just those at the top. With the signing of this historic agreement, we are showing that we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work together to make lives better for British Columbians," said John Horgan, leader of the B.C. New Democrats.

"The results of the election clearly demonstrated that voters wanted to put an end to the bitter, divisive and cynical politics of the past, and get on with productive governance. Today, I am very proud to stand with John Horgan and our respective caucuses to demonstrate how two distinct parties can work together for the good of all," said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Greens.

The B.C. New Democrat Government has agreed to advance several legislative and policy initiatives identified as a condition of support by the B.C. Green Caucus, including: 
Reforming our electoral system, getting the influence of big money out of politics, and reforming lobbying rules;

Recognizing that education is about lifelong learning and fast-tracking enhancement to K-12 education funding;

Protecting and promoting public health care, creating a proposal for an essential drugs program, and giving families the security of quality, affordable child care;

Getting people moving with better transit;

Giving the opioid crisis the attention it deserves;

Establishing an Emerging Economy Task Force and an Innovation Commission;

Eliminating Medical Services Premiums;

Implementing a basic income pilot project;

Fighting climate change while creating good jobs and introducing rebate cheques that will mean most people pay less while increasing the carbon tax beginning in 2018;

Sending the Site C project immediately to an independent review;

Opposing the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project.
"This agreement establishes a relationship of 'good faith and no surprises' between the B.C. Green caucus and a B.C. New Democrat government. It is our hope that it becomes a model for future B.C. governments, where working across party lines is quite ordinary. I have always believed we are better off when diverse views can be represented at the table. This is a new era for politics in B.C. - one where British Columbians are truly the winners," said Weaver.

"British Columbians have been waiting 16 long years for solutions to so many problems, and we want to help. A New Democrat government, with the support of Green MLAs, will make life more affordable, fix the services people count on, and build a sustainable economy that works for people. This agreement means we have the opportunity to make those changes that are so important. I'm optimistic and excited for the future," said Horgan.

The agreement can be found here.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Thank you!

Dear Constituents of Saanich South,

Thank you for participating in the democratic process.

It is an honour and a privilege to continue representing this constituency in the B.C. Legislature.

I welcome your opinions and directions on political matters of the day --especially given the uncertain dynamics of a potentially 'hung parliament' in the Legislative Assembly of B.C.

I am also soliciting your input on what priorities you would ask me to take on in the upcoming term.

I can be reached at lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca or 250 479 4154.

As always, please contact my office if you require assistance with programmes or agencies of the B.C. provincial government.

Until voting results are finalized by Elections BC and I am sworn in as an MLA in the Legislative Assembly, my work is circumscribed under law. Public hours at my Constituency Office are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 am - 5:00 pm.

Warmly,

Lana

Lana Popham
MLA-Elect, Saanich South


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Website temporarily closed

Dear Saanich South,


On April 11 2017, the Lieutenant Governor will issue a "writ of election" which will dissolve the Legislative Assembly of BC and begin a 28 day election period regulated by Elections BC.

During this period I will no longer be an MLA and cannot do any work as an MLA. I will be one of several candidates running for re-election in Saanich South. Therefore the Constituency Office will not have regular hours and this website will be suspended.

However, limited Saanich South Constituency Office services will remain available in order to assist constituents with urgent matters. If the matter is an emergency please call 911. If you are a resident of Saanich South and require urgent assistance with provincial matters that cannot wait until after the election then please contact Samuel Godfrey at 250 813 3233.

Throughout the writ period, many British Columbians will be interested in more detail regarding candidates and their party's platform. The constituency office is non-partisan and cannot be involved with the election. 

Information on voting and the election is available at elections.bc.ca.

Saanich South Candidate information (available at this time on the internet) is as follows:

David Calder, BC Liberal Party
759 B Vanalman
David.calder@bcliberals.com

Mark Neufeld, Green Party Political Association of BC
1-4071 Shelbourne Street
markneufeldsas@gmail.com
1-888-473-3686

Andrew Paul McLean, British Columbia Libertarian Party
Contact:  info@libertarian.bc.ca

Richard Percival Pattee, Vancouver Island Party
 Contact: 1-844-933-4847

Lana Popham, BC NDP
101 – 4442 West Saanich Road, (Royal Oak Shopping Centre).
778 817 1135

Please check elections.bc.ca for official/updated information 

This website will be closed until the Return of the Writ in June 2017. The back-end (a free blog) may remain searchable on the internet. It is a public record of my work over the last four years.

I hope you will participate in the democratic process! Election day is May 9. You can vote early but not often. Elections BC is doing a great job to make it convenient to vote. For all the details on how to vote, please visit elections.bc.ca

It was a privilege to serve as the Saanich South MLA. Thank you.

Lana

Lana Popham, Incumbent Saanich South

Monday, March 13, 2017

End-of-Term Constituency Report


Dear Constituents,

Here is the digital version of my end-of-term report. Click on the 'full screen' icon to view a large version. The purpose of this document is to report out to constituents on my recent work in the constituency. With the provincial election fast approaching, I am also contributing space in this report to share non-partisan information from Elections on how and when to vote. Printed versions were mailed out to households in Saanich South (unless they opted out of "ad-mail" with Canada Post) and hard copies are available from my constituency office.

Warmly, Lana

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Horgan calls on Clark to ensure Elections BC can complete its investigation before British Columbians vote

VICTORIA— In the wake of serious revelations about Christy Clark’s fundraising tactics, B.C. New Democrat Leader John Horgan is calling on the government to provide Elections BC with sufficient resources to complete its investigation before British Columbians vote.
“With disturbing reports that B.C. Liberal insiders may be breaking the law to help Christy Clark’s corporate donors cover their tracks, British Columbians deserve to have all the facts before they vote in just 63 days,” said Horgan.
“I’m calling on Christy Clark to make that happen by offering Elections BC any resources it needs to fast-track this investigation and uncover the extent of this behavior before election day.”

Friday, March 3, 2017

Families can’t get kids into schools, paying the price for Christy Clark’s neglect to education

VICTORIA – Families across B.C. are struggling to get their kids into their neighbourhood schools because Christy Clark’s government refused to plan for growth, say B.C. New Democrats.
“Parents in Coquitlam, Vancouver and Surrey are trying to get their kids registered for school, but are being told by Christy Clark’s government that there’s no space in the schools,” says Rob Fleming, B.C. New Democrat spokesperson for education.
“Schools are too crowded because Christy Clark lost her personal 15-year war on education when she was ordered by the courts to stop trying to cram too many children into each class room,” said Fleming. “And because she has been too busy closing 250 schools across the province instead of planning for growth, there’s no space left.”

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Addictions should be treated with the same urgency as wildfires

John Horgan, Leader of the Official
Opposition in the BC Legislature
Thank you John Horgan, Leader of the Official Opposition, for speaking out about the overdose crisis. This is what compassion, clear-thinking and determination looks like.

January 31, 2017. Source: CBC.ca

OPINION, BCNDP Leader, John Horgan

Addictions should be treated withthe same urgency as wildfires

We lost 914 people to overdoses last year.

Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, and partners were stolen away from those they loved. We need to work together on this issue. Think of wildfires. We never wait to check the budget before putting the fires out. We get at it right away.

When we’re in crisis, we need to come together and we need to address that crisis as a community. I know all British Columbians share my disappointment that the government has been slow to get this issue under control.

Right now, emergency responders are stretched to the breaking point. The response to the fentanyl crisis has largely rested on their shoulders, and the shoulders of community members. Without their heroic efforts, many more would have been lost.

Yet, nearly a year after the Christy Clark government branded the fentanyl crisis as a public health emergency, ambulances and naloxone remain one of the only responses available to stem the tide of deaths.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Statement regarding massacre at Quebec City Mosque

O'Hare International Airport Jan 30 2017
(Photo credit: Chicago Tribune)
Dear Constituents,

I would like to add my voice to the many Canadians who are expressing condolences, compassion and solidarity for our Muslim friends, family and neighbours at this difficult time. A massacre inside a Mosque in Quebec City - it is shocking to contemplate.

This is a moment for all good-hearted people to speak up for the values of diversity and inclusiveness. A moment to recommit ourselves to multiculturalism and respect for human rights. It is very inspiring to see this happening all over Canada.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Saanich News: Agriculture remains a priority ahead of election

MLA Report
By Lana Popham
Reprinted from the Saanich News, January 17 2017

I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on my past work and share with you how I intend to move forward.
This will be my final MLA Report before the provincial election on May 9.
In the past 10 months I have contributed 18 columns to the Saanich News. I’ve written on a range of topics from the need to improve public education to the painful reality faced by people on a low income; from the economic and social benefits that would result from improved child care options for young families to protecting precious places like Elk/Beaver Lake and demanding meaningful action on climate change.
A huge thank you to the Saanich News for allowing me the opportunity to share my opinions directly with our community. This paper has done a public service by publishing regular “MLA Reports” - they give readers a convenient tool to assess the work of their elected representatives.
This spring marks my completion of eight years’ work as your MLA. In many ways it is an investment: you have invested your trust and your hard-earned tax-dollars in me.
In return I have poured all my energy into working for you. From my community office I’ve helped hundreds of people who are struggling or in crisis. I’ve organized and hosted dozens of community gatherings and public meetings on topics brought forward by residents. This work has led to tangible accomplishments such as improvements to the Pat Bay Highway and it has enlivened the community through public events such as the one I organized with the Royal B.C. Museum. Rarely-seen treasures from the museum’s collection were brought directly to Claremont secondary school and to a free public evening event.
In addition I have not shied away from taking up controversial issues on behalf of the community. This has included work on everything from fighting inadequate restrictions on sex offenders, to a forum on the medical use of cannabis, to public advocacy on the need for improved medical assistance in dying.
In the B.C. Legislature I have worked just as hard. As a member of the official opposition, I have drafted and introduced Bills and formal statements. I’ve held the premier and ministers to account for their failures and misdeeds during long debates and hostile question periods.
I’ve learned a huge amount in the official opposition. My colleagues and I have studied policy and proposed far-reaching plans and practical solutions for the challenges we face in B.C. But to bring this work to life we need to be in government.
As the opposition spokesperson for agriculture I have travelled to every corner of the province and met with hundreds of farmers and leaders in the BC food industry. After listening closely I developed a comprehensive plan for how we can strengthen agriculture in BC. But again, to turn these ideas into reality I need to be part of the government.
I want to put what I’ve learned and what you’ve invested in me over the past eight years to good use. That is why I’m sharing with you now that I intend to run for re-election. You will be the judge of my work and you will make the final decision about what to do with your investment in me.
But until the “Election Writ Drops” on April 11, I will continue happily on as the Member of B.C. legislature for Saanich South. It remains my privilege to assist you with provincial matters and represent you in the BC Legislature. I welcome your feedback.
You can reach me at 250-479-4154 or by email at lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca.
Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South

Monday, January 9, 2017

Pedestrian Overpass of Pat Bay Hwy at Piedmont Ave?

Dear Saanich South,

A question: would you support improved access to Elk/Beaver Lake via a pedestrian/cycling overpass of the Pat Bay Hwy at the food of Piedmont Drive?

This proposal is supported by the Cordova Bay Residents Association and the Victoria City Rowing Club, among others. It is consistent with the Ministry of Transportation's Pat Bay Highway Corridor Plan. The improvement would include transit stops at both sides of the Hwy and would restrict vehicle access between Piedmont and the Hwy.

Your support is necessary to move such projects forward. Your questions and criticisms can help improve the plan - or send us back to the drawing board! Please share your opinions with an email to lana.popham.mla@leg.bc.ca or through this very short survey: https://goo.gl/forms/PVwmqq7Bm1iVXtBj2

The survey is open until Feb 28th. It will help me track responses and follow-up with interested folks. Thanks!

I am opening up the topic for discussion and to gauge public support of the concept. Lots more work would be done before formal plans would be brought forward for consideration. But in my view it is good to get the public's input at the start of the process rather than at the end. 


Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South

ddd:)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Saanich News: Concerns remain over sewage plan

MLA REPORT
by Lana Popham
Reprinted from the Saanich News, December 20 2016

The long journey that our sewage treatment planning has taken in the CRD is all too familiar to most of us. 

The latest chapter began in September when a BC Liberal government Project Board and the CRD created another plan.

This was very similar to an earlier proposal and includes a regional sewage plant in Esquimalt that will treat the sewage, release liquids into the ocean and pump the remaining solids through a pipeline to Hartland Landfill in Saanich.

After this decision was made I received many emails and calls from constituents, most expressing frustration or outrage at different aspects of the plan. A majority of the people who contacted my office live in the Prospect Lake and Willis Point area. Their drinking water is from wells and a top concern I heard was that this plan puts their water supply at risk.

Residents in both communities asked me to help organize a public meeting. They wanted answers to their specific questions and they wanted their concerns addressed. They did not want a repeat of what has happened before: they are “consulted” after decisions have already been made.

I wrote to the Project board on October 6th proposing meeting dates for the end of November. I made it clear that the goal of this public meeting was to have an amicable and efficient Q&A session attended by CRD or Project Board representatives who could speak knowledgeably to the issues under discussion. To that end my Constituency Office was prepared assist in outreach, including collating questions that would be provided in advance of the meeting. We also offered to organize the public meeting and cover the costs.

On October 11th I received a response from the Project Board refusing my offer and informing me that they would be undergoing their own consultation process.

I replied expressing my disappointment that the Board wouldn’t entertain participating in a community meeting moderated by myself as the MLA for Saanich South and attended by the Willis Point Community Association and Prospect Lake District Community Association. I pointed out that affected communities have a reasonable expectation of being updated on plans at the beginning of such a process and that delays create unnecessary anxiety and are inconsistent with the principle of transparency. The community expects the opportunity to offer feedback and input before decisions are made rather than being informed after the fact and being presented with proposals that are in fact finalized.

I reiterated that this meeting was not intended to berate the CRD or rehash the past decade. I asked the Project Board Chair to reconsider her decision but to date I have not received a reply or response to my email. It has been over two months.

As the MLA for an area that will be significantly affected by this project I am troubled by the Project Board’s failure to fully and openly engage with residents and local resident associations. It is a warning sign that we are again advancing a sewage treatment plan that lacks local accountability and a social licence.


I again call on the Project Board to meet publicly with local residents and show good faith by answering their questions and addressing their concerns. I remain ready and willing to help facilitate this process.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

MSP Premiums

Dear Constituents, 

I'm pleased to share the position of the Official Opposition on MSP Premiums: they are not fair and should be eliminated.

It doesn’t make sense that a person making $42,000 a year pays the same amount as a person earning $400,000, or even $4 million. 
MSP premiums do not have any relation to the actual cost of health care and increases to MSP premiums are rising faster than increases in health spending and faster than inflation. 
Since Christy Clark became premier, she has increased MSP fees every single year – fees are up by 24 per cent in the last 5 years alone. 
Recently Christy Clark and her government announced that MSP premiums would stay at the current rate in 2017, cancelling their planned 4 per cent increase. But that doesn’t apply to more than 500,000 B.C. families without children at home that will see one of the largest ever medical services premium tax hikes on January 1st. 
Her ‘freeze’ on MSP for some British Columbians has come as no surprise – 2017 is an election year and she wants you to believe that she’s on your side. The real truth is that over half a million British Columbians will be paying more leaving her government to rake in an extra $46 million a year.  
Christy Clark thinks senior couples living on fixed incomes, and young people who are just starting their professional lives don’t deserve a break. She is not putting British Columbians first – and that is certainly the case when it comes to the unfair Medical Services Plan premiums. 
MSP premiums are another cost to B.C. families, especially those already struggling to make ends meet. The Official Opposition recognizes that the current system only benefits those at the top, and this needs to change.
All British Columbians should be treated fairly and MSP premiums should be eliminated.

Lana

Lana Popham
MLA, Saanich South

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Saanich News: Pipeline expansion endangers environment

MLA REPORT
by Lana Popham
Reprinted* from the Saanich News, December 6 2016

Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal government have failed to oppose Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion project. Their inaction puts B.C.’s coast at risk and is not in the best interests of British Columbians.

I am categorically opposed to this project. It is too risky for the environment and the economy. In this I stand with many people, including B.C. NDP leader John Horgan, the majority of British Columbians and the First Nations over whose land these pipelines will travel.


I am working to empower British Columbians to build a forward-looking economy. One that gains strength from the labour and creativity of our residents and is powered by renewable energy and the sustainable use of our natural resources.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion takes us in exactly the opposite direction. It is a project that endangers our environment and our economy, worsens climate change and damages relations with First Nations.

If the B.C. and federal Liberals get their way, this project will lead to a pipeline that crosses more than 500 rivers in the Fraser Valley watershed and increases tanker traffic sevenfold. There would be more than 400 tankers every year passing right by our homes on the south Island. And remember these tankers would be carrying diluted bitumen, an oil so thick, viscous and crude that any major spill would be impossible to fully clean and would cause tremendous damage to wildlife, our life-giving watersheds and natural places like Cordova Bay and Cadboro Bay. This plan would mean that on average every day there would be 890,000 barrels of oil moving past our beaches and coastline. Every day. The ecology of our coast and the Salish Sea as a whole is simply too precious and vulnerable for us to continue down this path.

The small but terribly damaging diesel spill in Bella Bella in October was a reminder that the weather on the open water in the strait can make it impossible to clean up oil spills and that the consequences of even a small spill can be catastrophic for people living nearby.
The economic impact of a major oil spill on the shores of Vancouver or Victoria could be epochal, potentially decimating our tourism industry for years, and putting tens of thousands of people out of work. More than 300,000 jobs in B.C. depend directly on a healthy coast. Vancouver has estimated even trying to clean up a moderate spill would cost more than a billion dollars.


The Liberal’s Kinder Morgan plan is also completely irreconcilable with our climate change commitments. To start with, the diluted bitumen oil this pipeline will bring is from the Alberta tar sands, one of the most polluting sources of energy in Canada. Canada’s emissions have been rising since 2009. Adding new tar sands emissions will only exacerbate the enormous challenge we face with global warming.

Burning all the oil transported from an expanded Kinder Morgan Pipeline would add at least 75-100 million tonnes of climate-changing greenhouse gases into our atmosphere every year! As context, consider that in 2014 B.C. produced greenhouse gas emissions totalling 64 million tonnes.*

This is a moment of truth for us all. Kinder Morgan plans to begin construction of the pipeline this fall. We must demand the B.C. Liberals stop favouring the petro-corporations that line their pockets and start protecting our environment and the long-term interests of all British Columbians.


As the B.C. New Democratic Opposition Leader MLA John Horgan said this week: “British Columbians gave Christy Clark a chance to protect our coast and she chose to put wealthy donors before the well-being of local communities, First Nations and our coastal environment.”*

Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals have not stepped up to defend our coast. But the B.C. NDP opposition has, and we will continue to do so. Let’s demand a B.C. government that will defend our coast and advance a vibrant, forward-looking economy with good jobs and incomes.

Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South.


Source:  http://www.saanichnews.com/community/404864486.html *Starred paragraphs were removed from print version for reasons of length but have been reproduced here.