During the 2017 election I committed to working to strengthen the relationships between the provincial, local, first nations and federal governments.
There is only so much that a single MLA can do, but I remembered back to my time as a municipal councillor and the need for more opportunities for cross government connections.
When we opened the constituency office in Sidney we invited all the locally elected officials to an open house. No agenda, just coffee, tea, cookies and conversation. Since then I have hosted several luncheons with the Chiefs and Mayors.
Following the latest round of local government elections we once again sent out the invite for a meet and greet. In the next couple of weeks I am hoping to connect with all the new and returning elected officials from Central Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney, the Islands Trust and CRD Directors. More than 60 in total.
In addition, I met this week with the new board of Trustees for School District 64 in the Gulf Islands. I will meet with the School District 63 board in early in 2019.
Setting the table for good governance
We have a responsibility to deliver good governance for this riding. It is done better, if we do it together. So, my goal is to just set the table for a discussion. Any discussion. All discussion.
Today, we had the latest luncheon and I am thrilled that all three Saanich Peninsula Mayors (Cliff McNeill-Smith, Geoff Orr & Ryan Windsor), two Chiefs (Tanya Jimmy & Don Tom) and two Councillors (Mavis Underwood & Simon Smith Jr.) from three First Nations where there. The other two Chiefs (Rebecca David & Harvey Underwood) sent their regrets. We are getting very close to a full table!
It was a wonderful discussion. Connections were made and strengthened across the borders. There is so much to gain from being together.
No written agenda
Again, there is no agenda. Well, no written agenda. Of course there is an agenda, it is just to get to know each other. To find ways we can support each other. Discuss how we can deliver services more efficiently. And, work together to create more effective public policy.
It is in this spirit, that I am excited that I will be joining our Member of Parliament, Elizabeth May in January for another round of town halls throughout the riding. Check out my Constituency Office website for more information. The work continues!