MLA Horgan talks about 2012

Horgan's past year in the BC Legislature outlines achievements

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

Just Posted

High of 16 C for Thursday

Plus your weekend forecast

Canadian Coast Guard breaks ground on permanent search and rescue station in Victoria

Victoria-based SAR will do all rescues in local harbour and parts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Police actions under investigation following Langford arrest

IIO investigates officer-related incidents that result in serious harm

Victoria woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

Time for round two of the Dunnet theatre seat sale

Fundraising committee looks to sell remaining seats Dave Dunnet Community Theatre at Oak Bay High

WATCH: Cougar saunters through Metchosin yard

Spring cougar sighting caught on camera

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Island Cup set for East Sooke on May 3-5

Off-road racing event expected to attract over 50 racers

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Most Read