Sonia Furstenau

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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Participation in the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act

Participation in the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act

I am honoured to be named to the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act. Our society is grappling with deeply entrenched systemic racism throughout our institutions. The critical work of this committee has been needed for a long time. I'm thankful that the terms of reference of the committee extends beyond just the Police Act and provides...

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Hospitality industry an important part of my journey

The training and experience I gained from working for a decade in the hospitality industry is an important part of my journey in community service. Today I acknowledged those years and raised my hands to the people who helped shape those experiences for me. In addition, in this time when the tourism and hospitality...

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BC Green Caucus commentary on economic recovery

BC Green Caucus commentary on economic recovery

In this post I am republishing a commentary originally published on the brand new BC Green Caucus website. Going forward you will be able to find all the legislative work of the BC Green Caucus, including videos of our work in Question Period and on Bills to media releases, statements and commentaries.In the future, commentaries such as the one...

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Financial accountability in long-term care sector

Today I asked the Minister of Health why privately operated care homes are not obliged to make their audited financial statements available to the public, and when British Columbians can expect the government to implement a more transparent system. [Transcript] ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR FOR-PROFIT LONG-TERM CARE...

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NIPD 2020: It’s a long journey ahead

NIPD 2020: It’s a long journey ahead

My name is SȾHENEP (Adam Olsen). I am the son of Carl & Sylvia Olsen and the grandson of Ernie & Laura Olsen and Don & Phyllis Snobelen. I am W̱SÁNEĆ, from the WJOȽEȽP village. Growing up on Tsartlip, an Indian reserve, dealing with systemic racism is just part of life. Addressing the impacts of colonialism in British Columbia has...

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PODCAST: Isobel Mackenzie – B.C. Seniors Advocate

PODCAST: Isobel Mackenzie – B.C. Seniors Advocate

In this episode of The Public Circle Podcast (the first in several months) I’m republishing a virtual town hall I hosted on Monday June 15, 2020 with Isobel Mackenzie, the B.C. Seniors Advocate. In February 2020 the Office of the Seniors Advocate published a report titled A Billion Reasons to Care. It is the first detailed review of British...

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4-day Workweek: Live discussion with Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

4-day Workweek: Live discussion with Alex Soojung-Kim Pang

When I asked in this blog post what you thought about the potential of a four-day workweek you responded with great interest. I received a lot of positive feedback. There were many questions as well. Business owners and workers alike wanted to know how it would impact them. As we address the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we...

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Island Comeback!

Island Comeback!

COVID-19 has devastated small business in communities across British Columbia.As the representative of communities on the Southern Gulf Islands I have received a steady stream of stories of heartbreak and economic turmoil caused by the global pandemic.The revenue generated from off-islanders visiting from late-spring to early-fall power Island...

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Mental health services and supports

Mental health services and supports

Many people in our communities experience stress, anxiety, depression and isolation. The public health and safety response to COVID-19 has required us to maintain physical distancing measures that have dramatically increased instances of isolation.A commenter on my Facebook page asked me to share the domestic violence and mental health support...

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OPINION: A four-day workweek in BC would make time for what really matters

OPINION: A four-day workweek in BC would make time for what really matters

Last week I published this blog post asking for feedback on the potential for a four day workweek in British Columbia. I received a lot of really important feedback. Since then my BC Green Caucus colleague Sonia Furstenau has had this opinion piece published in Daily Hive Vancouver.We want to keep the conversation going so I am sharing the...

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4-day work week: What do you think?

4-day work week: What do you think?

The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted all aspects of our lives.During the upheaval our strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats have been exposed. We can either strive to put the pieces back together exactly as they were before the disruption, or we can thoughtfully and critically make changes that benefit people and the...

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MLA REPORT: Members expect to head back to the legislature this summer

British Columbia is in phase two of our restart plan.Nothing about the past few months has been easy. Asking British Columbians to stay home, miss important occasions like births, funerals and religious celebrations, close their businesses, and stay at least two metres away from each other has been very difficult. However, it’s necessary in order...

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Hospitality in a post-COVID world

Hospitality in a post-COVID world

This “little person” is one of the original gnomes from a long-gone tourist attraction in Cordova Bay. Do you remember Fable Cottage?My grandfather Don Snobelen was a gardener in Victoria for decades. For many years he tended the incredible flower beds at the attraction.As a result, I spent many summer mornings hanging out and talking with the...

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