NDP MLA for the North Coast Jennifer Rice

Local MLA highlights province’s contributions to local government in 2018

Contributions to CCRD total over $500,000

Dear Editor,

For the past year, making life more affordable, delivering the services people count on, and creating a sustainable economy that creates good jobs for people has been our government’s focus and my focus for the people of North Coast.

In the Bella Coola valley and central coast, we have a lot to celebrate. We started 2018 with an announcement that will have a profound impact on the lives of people living in the remote communities along the B.C coast. The Connected Coast initiative will expand high-speed fibre optic internet for people living in Klemtu, Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Duncandy Landing, Martin Valley, Ocean Falls, Oweekeno and Shearwater. When completed, students will be able to videoconference classes and more rural residents will have “virtual” visits with a doctor living hundreds of kilometers away.

In the Spring your government provided $392,000 to the Central Coast Regional District to improve the flight path of the Bella Coola Airport in order to allow for re-certification and larger planes to land.

The CCRD also received $100,000 to redesign and update its website to showcase this magnificent region.

The Central Coast Communications Society received funding to start the Bella Coola Makerspace, a high-tech, multi-material fabrication studio for community members to learn how to design, create, modify or repair a wide range of products.

Your government understands the need to be prepared for an uncertain future due to the effects of climate change. That’s why our government provided $500,000 to the CCRD to develop a flood risk assessment and to model flood scenarios helping identify hazards, potential community impacts and infrastructure vulnerabilities.

In December, your government announced the CleanBC plan to reduce climate pollution and build a low carbon economy. This bold new initiative will work to reduce climate pollution by shifting homes, vehicles, industry and businesses off burning fossil fuels and towards energy-efficient solutions. We’re also going to dramatically increase the number of zero-emission vehicles and home heat pumps in the Province by making them more affordable and making B.C. a destination for clean energy and tech investments.

Developing a stronger relationship with First Nations is a critical priority for your government. We’ve committed to the sharing of gaming revenue with First Nations to ensure that Indigenous peoples have the funding they need to invest in their communities.

First Nations leaders have said for years that removing children from their home communities and culture has a lasting impact on their later development. That’s why we’re working on child welfare solutions that maintain vital community connections.

Through a ground-breaking government-to-government process with First Nations, 17 fish farms within the Broughton Archipelago will transition out of wild salmon migration corridors by 2023. While some open-net farms will close within 2-4 years, others will close immediately. Our priority is ensuring the protection of wild salmon and meaningful partnerships with First Nations.

These are just some of the things that your government has accomplished in 2018. I’m looking forward to an exciting 2019.

As an example, starting on January 1st, Pharmacare deductibles will be reduced or eliminated for over 240,000 families and individuals, helping to ensure people can afford the prescriptions they need.

We’re working as fast as we can to make right the years of inaction on housing, childcare, the environment, human rights and reducing poverty.

I’m wishing you all the best in 2019!

Yours in service,

Jennifer Rice

MLA North Coast

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