Sonia Furstenau

The ongoing tragedy of the disappearing salmon

The ongoing tragedy of the disappearing salmon

If you have been following my blog then you might feel this post is just recycling old content. Unfortunately, I am not. The bad news for the wild Pacific salmon is getting worse.This week a CBC reporter asked me to respond to the fact that the Pacific Salmon Commission has downgraded the 2020 Fraser River sockeye salmon forecast from 941,000 to...

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Budget Estimates: Finance

Budget Estimates: Finance

My work in budget estimates wrapped up with questions to Hon. Carole James (Minister of Finance).My B.C. Green Caucus colleague Sonia Furstenau canvassed issues relating to COVID-19. In the time I had allotted to me I asked about the decision to delay the 2020 scheduled increase of the carbon tax and if September 30th is still the target date...

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Budget Estimates: Public Safety & Solicitor General

Budget Estimates: Public Safety & Solicitor General

This coming fall the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act will be convening to look at the decades old British Columbia Police Act. This is important work and I am thankful to be able to participate on this special committee.In this session of budget estimates I ask Minister Mike Farnworth about a few policing issues including...

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Budget Estimates: Health

Budget Estimates: Health

In this round of budget estimates I had a brief opportunity to inquire with the Minister of Health, Hon. Adrian Dix, about an on-going healthcare challenge on the Saanich Peninsula and across the province - a lack of access to primary care or as many know it, a shortage of family doctors. Since the 2017 election the provincial government has been...

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It’s long past time for a new fiscal framework for communities

It’s long past time for a new fiscal framework for communities

The wellbeing of our communities is threatened and solutions have been in front of provincial politicians for a long time. We must modernize local government legislation in British Columbia and provide local elected leaders access to the fiscal tools they need to build resilient communities. This is now even more urgently required as COVID-19 has...

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Will government pause old growth harvesting?

Today I asked the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development if the provincial government will pause harvesting in the highest risk ecosystems as they consult on an old growth forest strategy, and deliver supports for affected workers. I also asked what specific steps...

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Column: $9B tourism sector not getting the support it needs

Column: $9B tourism sector not getting the support it needs

Over the past few months, I have heard clearly how COVID-19 is devastating the visitor economy (tourism sector) in British Columbia. I know the provincial government has heard the same messages. I’ve shared documentation from business leaders outlining the desperate situation of the industry in British Columbia and the immediate and long-term...

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Budget Estimates: Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation

Budget Estimates: Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation

The whirlwind tour through Budget Estimates continued with questions to Hon. Scott Fraser (Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation). With so many important issues and such limited time it's a difficult decision determining what I ask and what is left for another time. In this session I ask Minister Fraser how his Ministry is engaged...

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New Innovation Commissioner appointed for British Columbia

New Innovation Commissioner appointed for British Columbia

Installing an Innovation Commissioner was an important economic initiative proposed by the B.C. Greens in the 2017 election. It became a key policy initiative of the Confidence and Supply Agreement, the founding document for the relationship between the B.C. Green Caucus and the B.C. NDP Caucus and the strength of our minority government. We are...

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Budget Estimates: Agriculture

Budget Estimates: Agriculture

COVID-19 has uncovered many existential risks in our society and economy. One significant area of concern raised by my constituents and British Columbians from across the province is our food supply. There is a strong desire that we double down on the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that British Columbians have access to...

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Time to make a green recovery a priority!

Time to make a green recovery a priority!

Over the past two weeks my B.C. Green Caucus colleague Sonia Furstenau and I have been asking the government questions about their $1.5 billion COVID-19 economic recovery plans. We asked about support for the tourism and hospitality sector, funding for youth employment programs, supporting B.C. based manufacturing by strengthening local supply...

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Budget Estimates: Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources

Budget Estimates: Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources

The BC Green Caucus was up in Budget Estimates with Hon. Bruce Ralston (Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources) this week. My colleague Sonia Furstenau and I asked Minister Ralston questions in a number of areas including BC Hydro, Site C, mining and LNG. The transcript below begins with Sonia's final question to Minister Ralston about...

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Budget Estimates: Tourism, Arts and Culture

Budget Estimates: Tourism, Arts and Culture

In this session of budget estimates I continue my work from earlier in the week to draw attention to the ongoing struggles of the tourism industry. In Question Period (Monday), I asked Minister Lisa Beare about her plans for supporting tourism operators over the next 18-24 months. In my Statement (Wednesday), I highlighted how as an MLA I lean on...

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Budget Estimates: Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Budget Estimates: Social Development and Poverty Reduction

I appreciate the brief opportunity to honour the powerful work of community advocates I have met with several times by asking Hon. Shane Simpson (Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction) in Budget Estimates about potential accessibility and inclusion legislation. It's my preference to be discussing the actual legislation this Spring,...

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Investigation into racism in B.C.’s health care system launched

Investigation into racism in B.C.’s health care system launched

Indigenous, Black and other people of colour in British Columbia and Canada face systemic racism everyday. Following calls to address the deeply entrenched problem in policing, the provincial government recently established a committee to oversee the reform of the Police Act. A couple of weeks ago Hon. Adrian Dix announced that allegations of...

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Budget Estimates: Transportation and Infrastructure

Budget Estimates: Transportation and Infrastructure

Transportation related issues continue to be very challenging in Saanich North and the Islands and across British Columbia. Over the past couple of weeks opposition critics have been questioning Minister Claire Travena in budget estimates. Transportation and Infrastructure is a big portfolio including ferries, transit, roads and highways. The...

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