The weather this summer was spectacular, although very sobering as a result of the wildfires in British Columbia and the air quality and eerie light that the smoke cast across the sky here on the southwest coast. On BC Day I remember thinking that while it is usually such a wonderful weekend, this year was a time to think about our friends and fellow citizens who have been deeply affected by the wildfires. As I write this, hurricane Irma rages. Adapting and building resilience into our communities is a serious and ongoing challenge. Certainly last year’s water and wastewater infrastructure funding approvals are part of ensuring that essential services are secure.
This summer we focused on food security, as Agriculture and Agrifood Minister MacAulay is seeking public input in order to draft Canada’s first ever food policy. We hosted three well attended Democracy Talks Food Policy events. Please visit www.pgoldsmithjones.ca and go to the Report on Food Policy for the full summary from the Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver and Whistler food policy events.
I was on the Sunshine Coast several times during the summer where public events are always remarkable. The opening concert of the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival showcasing young and local talent was exquisite. Rose-Ellen Nicholls and Louis Dillon held us spellbound with a varied program.
As always the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts was a huge success. Thank you to Jane Davidson and her team of volunteers for another amazing program. I had the pleasure of introducing Charlotte Gray who happens to be a personal friend and whose book commemorating Canada 150 I highly recommend.
So much happening – thank you to Sheena Main for always supporting summer students, giving them a great experience at the Sunshine Coast Arts Council; and also to curator Ian Macleod for touring us round the very unique art installation. In addition, visits to the Hackett Park Fair and Power of Paint contributed to a wonderful summer.
In closing, this has also been a challenging summer regarding staff shortages in the service sector on the Sunshine Coast. This has meant that restaurants in particular have had to close early or miss out entirely on some peak periods. In some cases, service levels are slower because of not enough staff. In Whistler and West Vancouver I have heard the same concerns. We are working with the Minister of Labour helping to show that our local economy is driven by small business and the service sector.
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback on our government’s work. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, connect with us on Facebook: Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, or stop by our community office in Horseshoe Bay, 6367 Bruce Street 604-913-2660.