What do you think the province should do about the following issues, locally and provincially?
The opioid crisis
Decriminalization is one thing we need to see and we’re now seeing with the B.C. NDP government’s alternative, safe drug supply that is more accessible, but we also need to see supportive housing.
Often with the opioid crisis, mental health issues and addiction issues, they’re not separate issues. They’re one issue. What supportive housing is able to do is provide a safe home for people, but with those wraparound services, with the mental health services, with nutritional services, with medical services and so I think supportive housing is going to be one way that we’re really able to deal with the homelessness crisis and the opiate crisis in our communities. But it’s going to be have to be a multi-faceted approach.
The B.C. NDP government has been putting money and resources into wildfire mitigation work. There’s also a great partnership that’s happening with a local logging company, with private land owners and parks, and trying to create the more firebreaks around our communities.
I know that they’ve put more money into the FireSmart program. I think Nelson is the community most at risk of wildfires, which is absolutely terrifying, and we need to ensure that we’re getting that provincial money to do as much as we can to protect the areas around our communities.
Greenhouse gas emissions
We’re seeing a commitment in retrofitting buildings. So for part of the recovery money work, municipalities will be able to apply for grants to improve the existing building stock. When you look at buildings in Nelson like the Civic Centre, we’ve heard from experts that currently heating that building is like heating a shopping cart.
So if we can put resources into modernizing that building, ensuring those GHGs are reduced so we’re not using fossil fuels to essentially heat the area around us and not just these buildings, and switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy, I think that that’s going to be a really strong step in the right direction for how we are able to reduce GHGs locally and across the province.
What the B.C. NDP has done is they’ve started to invest in affordable housing. So the B.C. NDP has invested more money and created more units in the last three years in our local area than the Liberals did in the previous 16. So we are seeing more units go up. We’re seeing units go up in Creston for people with disabilities. We’re seeing units go up in Nelson that are affordable housing units that are going to be for families and seniors.
But we know that that is not going to be enough to ease the housing crisis that we’re experiencing locally. The B.C. NDP is committed to building more units across our riding.
Anderson’s bonus issue: Rural health care
In our smaller communities we need urgent primary health care. In Nelson we need things like dialysis. People can’t be travelling as far as they are right now to receive dialysis three times a week, and this is treatment that people need much closer to home.
We are seeing finally investments in long-term care. A local community group has been advocating for not just long-term beds at Mount Saint Francis, but a health care campus. They have a really beautiful, inclusive, all-ages vision for that property that I want to support and want to ensure that that’s able to come to fruition. It includes child-care spaces, which we know is critically important, also in our community and affordable housing.
So I think ensuring that we have strong rural health care in our region is going to be able to keep people here, keep people healthy, and keep people safe.
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