MLA Horgan talks about 2012

Horgan's past year in the BC Legislature outlines achievements

MLA John Horgan

MLA John Horgan

As we approach the end of each year, I like to take some time to reflect on everything that has happened over the past 12 months – the good, the bad and the not so much – and think about my goals and priorities for the coming year.

This year was a particularly busy one for me. I dove into my Opposition House Leader role with gusto, travelled across the province as Energy Critic and dealt with many issues of concern right here in our area.

As the year began, I looked forward to challenging the BC Liberal government on a multitude of issues which negatively impact the day-to-day lives of taxpayers in my riding, and all across the province. But more importantly, I looked forward to a robust legislative session where I could bring focus to these many issues and bring sensible, working solutions to the table.

Alas, this wasn’t to be. The spring session lasted a measly 47 days. The session was marked by a lack of focus and a collection of random legislative changes. No traditional Speech from the Throne – the premier instead laid out her plan for the province’s future via the radio airwaves. The session came to an end with dozens of bills and hundreds of pages of legislation being shoved through, most with little or no debate, and many ending with closure. An increasingly common practice for this government.

When the Legislature is dormant it is more difficult to get the ear of ministers to effect change — more difficult, but not impossible. Significantly, local residents banded together to successfully move two important projects forward. The Minister of Environment recently discontinued an annual core funding grant to the BC Lake Stewardship Society, a non-profit society dependent upon volunteers and dedicated to the preservation and protection of lakes in B.C. After much lobbying, the minister agreed to reinstate the society’s funding.

Residents also campaigned for a new aerator in our own Langford Lake. Each year the Ministry of Environment stocks the lake with thousands of trout, providing for approximately 7,500 angler days of fishing per year. It was evident the 25- year-old aerator could no longer effectively keep the fish stocks healthy, but there was no funding to fix the problem. In the end, the funding was found and the project was cost shared between the City of Langford, local businesses and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Other issues I spent time working on still need our attention. Issues like a federal and provincial plan to manage our fishery. The Bill James Dam on DeMamiel Creek is slated to be decommissioned; the impact on local salmon enhancement is not being taken seriously by federal officials. I have suggested the provincial government undertake a water- use plan of the Sooke region – focusing on fish values and protection of drinking water, but unfortunately that commitment has not yet been realized.

On the school capital front, we have seen significant commitments to funding two new high schools in the West Shore as well as seismic upgrades to protect our kids in aging elementary schools. Similarly, dollars for road improvements have been welcomed on Highway 14 out to Port Renfrew and improved median barriers on the Malahat mean safer travelling around the South Island. Much more work needs to be done, but we need a regional plan and a government committed to meeting the growing needs of our communities.

As I sign off from my last e-newsletter of 2012, I am eager to start the year ahead. I’m steadfast in my determination to find practical solutions to the problems we face in our neighbourhoods and across our province. I am proud to represent people who are passionate and committed to standing up for what they believe is right for their community and for future generations. Every voice can add up to make a big change. Working together produces positive results and creates the relationships needed to move quickly when local problems emerge.

I wish you all the best in the coming year.

John Horgan, MLA

Juan de Fuca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Lake Reservoir, shown here, is the primary storage site for Greater Victoria’s drinking water supply. The Capital Regional District just purchased a property on the north edge of the water supply area to help further protect the supply. (Photo courtesy CRD)
CRD acquires 58.7-hectare watershed to further protect Greater Victoria drinking water supply

Forested area near Grant Lake is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

The Sooke Fine Arts Show will be online again this year, showcasing unique artworks from Vancouver Island and B.C.’s coastal island artists from July 23 to Aug. 2. (File - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke Fine Arts Show goes virtual for second year in a row

Art exhibition and show set for July 23 to Aug. 2

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner’s report confirms cause of death of three men at Sooke River in 2020

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen drown while ‘puddle-jumping’ in pickup truck

Amy Morrison was surprised to find a note on her windshield for parking on a public street with no restrictions in south Oak Bay where she works. (Amy Morrison Photo)
Oak Bay resident uses notes to claim street parking

‘You must have noticed, we park in front of OUR HOUSE,’ note writer says

The Pacheedaht First Nation is planning a $1-million expansion to its campground in Port Renfrew. (Pixabay photo)
Expanded camping announced for Pacheedaht Campground

$1-million project is part of the B.C. Rural Economic Recovery program

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read