I recently held a Town Hall meeting in Sechelt over the proposed closure of two Vancouver-Coastal Health (VCH) publicly operated long-term care facilities in favour of one larger, for-profit facility with the tempting increase of 20 beds. Over 300 people attended the meeting, concerned for the quality of care for seniors, for the jobs that will be lost, for families impacted and for our communities where middle-income earners have less disposable income. The Powell River Regional District Hospital Board should be pleased with the decision they made keeping Willingdon Creek Village public, and public options should be promoted.
I attended a discussion session with the Ministry of Transportation on the topic of the Fixed Link. Options were discussed broadly with most in attendance saying a connection between Port Mellon and Highway 99 possibly in conjunction with bridge structures from Earls Cove to Saltery Bay seem the most likely. All attendees were looking forward to seeing what the cost, environmental, technical and social impact studies will conclude.
Right before the long weekend the government finally released a report by a UBC Professor which showed that raising many BC speed limits in 2014 resulted in an 11 per cent increase in collisions. Despite a tenacious spin campaign to downplay the results, and after quickly restoring original speed limits on certain highways, the conclusion government should reach is that no Minister should be making speed limit decisions without consulting experts. The 11 per cent increase is statistically significant, and even more significant to people whose lives have been altered.
You may have noticed that 50 per cent discounts on extra-length recreational trailers apply only on the Lower Mainland – Vancouver Island BC Ferries routes. I have pointed this unfairness out to the Minister in the hopes that he can correct this problem. BC Ferries policies should not favour one destination over another.
Congratulations to all graduates of 2016. I had the honour of addressing the graduates of Elphinstone Secondary in Gibsons at their ceremony, and as I wished them, I wish you happiness and success. If your travels or studies take you to Victoria during a legislative session I invite you to visit -I’m known for giving interesting tours of the Legislature which are mostly based on fact.