Sonia Furstenau

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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Restart… slowly!

Last week Premier John Horgan released information about British Columbia’s restart plan.Over the past two months COVID-19 has disrupted every part of our lives. It has devastated social norms, and caused tremendous economic hardship for individuals, families and entrepreneurs.Public health and safety officials have asked each and every one of us...

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Check these Text Map Tees out!

Check these Text Map Tees out!

My friend Lucas Copplestone owns a screenprinting operation. A few days ago he let me know that he had created a new line of printed t-shirts featuring local place names. He has branded them “Text Map Tees” and is selling them online at http://textmaptees.com. The initiative was in part a response to the call from food banks across British...

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Appreciating the contribution of volunteers!

Appreciating the contribution of volunteers!

Volunteers are the life force behind many non-government organizations. The third week of April is National Volunteer Week. It’s the time each year that we collectively pause to acknowledge and appreciate the effort of millions of Canadians and British Columbians. Amidst a global health crisis the contribution of volunteers is even more...

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I raise my hands to Planet Earth

I raise my hands to Planet Earth

If we have learned anything in the first quarter of 2020 it’s that life is fragile.We had been operating with a sense of invincibility and confidence that the systems that have evolved out of political and economic decisions would continue in perpetuity.In just a few short weeks we have seen what a global disruption of normal looks like and the...

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Live from Isolation!

Live from Isolation!

Join my live Facebook broadcast at 7:15pm (Monday to Thursday). Click here to visit my Facebook live videos page to view the broadcast and see upcoming guests. In each broadcast I will highlight the latest updates from the provincial government and invite a guest into the conversation to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them and their...

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Supports for businesses a first step forward

Supports for businesses a first step forward

Small business owners in Saanich North and the Islands, and their entrepreneurial counterparts in every part of the country, have been clear - without financial support many of them face a dire future due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal and provincial governments have heard the message. This week they began announcing programs to help the...

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Essential trips to the Gulf Islands only please!

Essential trips to the Gulf Islands only please!

For the past three weeks I have heard the concerns from Gulf Islanders about the threat that COVID-19 poses to their communities. I’ve received hundreds of emails and phone calls. This concern has dominated every conversation with elected officials from the CRD and Islands Trust. Of course there is cause for significant concern. We have extremely...

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Small business needs more!

Small business needs more!

Prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency we relied on, and to some extent took for granted, the incredible businesses that support our community in so many ways. I have been publishing a series of blog posts called “Championing Local Business”, highlighting my visits to local businesses as an MLA, and what I have learned about the...

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Mass mobilization for our elders

Mass mobilization for our elders

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on every aspect of our society. The social discourse is evolving in so many ways. We are faced with ethical dilemmas as we recognize and acknowledge the fragility of the systems that we have created. There are incredible challenges for frontline medical workers who must make the seemingly impossible...

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Getting personal about COVID-19

Getting personal about COVID-19

If you are a Facebook friend of my mom (Sylvia Olsen) then you may have seen her post announcing that her partner Tex has tested positive for COVID-19 and she is a presumptive case. The novel coronavirus has disrupted every part of our lives. It’s not just a community state of emergency, it’s global. Up until they received their diagnosis a...

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Statement on response to COVID-19 crisis

I delivered the BC Green Caucus response to Premier John Horgan's Ministerial Response to the serious public health and economic disruptions caused by COVID-19. The impact of this virus is unlike anything we have experienced before, the global response is unprecedented. It was a surreal day in the British Columbia...

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Stay informed about novel coronavirus!

Stay informed about novel coronavirus!

Are you wondering what to do about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? There is so much information (and misinformation) online these days that it is creating confusion. The situation with this virus is evolving so quickly I am simply going to provide a few links where you can find the most up to date information for British Columbia. Dr. Bonnie...

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