1. How do you plan to address the affordable housing issue across the Cowichan Valley?
As a mother and an entrepreneur, I believe affordable housing is a necessity both for our families and the local economy. Since 2001, $6.3 billion has been invested in housing for low-income British Columbians, vulnerable seniors and families. This includes $920 million last year to acquire, construct and renovate 5,300 rental housing units - the largest investment in a single year in Canadian history. In Cowichan, more than $5.2 million was allocated last year to assist some 885 households. If elected, I will ensure these investments continue and will work hard get the provincial funds we need and deserve.
2. How would you transition to a sustainable economy that will support local business and create reliable, living wage jobs for residents in Cowichan?
I believe in a strong, growing, and diverse economy that creates jobs. BC is leading the country in economic growth with the lowest unemployment rate in Canada. I’m committed to protecting the jobs we have, like those at Catalyst. Phasing out the PST on their electricity will help keep those jobs in our community. However, we also need to create more good jobs in this riding. If elected, I will support:
- Targeted trades and training funding to develop talent.
- Innovation and competitiveness in our natural resource industries.
Investments in the Rural Dividend Fund that benefit Cowichan.
3. What do you consider to be the top priorities for improving education and, if elected, how will you work to ensure these priorities will be addressed?
I believe education is about putting students first. BC’s total education budget for public and independent schools is $5.9 billion. In School District 79, per pupil funding is $9,154, up almost 50% from $6,230 in 2001/02 when the BC Liberals were elected government.
BC’s students consistently achieve high scores in international studies. BC is ranked first in the English-speaking world on student outcomes in reading, science and math because of the great work our teachers are doing.
4. What do you consider to be the top priorities for sustaining a healthy environment and, if elected, how will you work to ensure these priorities will be addressed?
I support balancing economic development with environmental sustainability - human health and the environment must be at the forefront of every decision made. This riding needs sustainable sources of abundant clean water, I will work to get that for you, starting with year round access to the Chemainus aquifer. I will also support efforts to clean up the historic harbour of Ladysmith.
5. What do you consider to be the top priorities for better health care in Cowichan and if elected, how will you work to ensure these priorities will be addressed?
We’re committed to investing $90 million over the next three years to bring primary care services to more communities across BC. This model will benefit seniors and those with complex health needs – helping to keep them healthier, more independent, and out of hospital. As your MLA, I will advocate to ensure that Nanaimo North Cowichan benefits from this funding. I plan to be a strong voice for Nanaimo North Cowichan until this happens.
6. If elected, how will you support moving forward on reconciliation with First Nations in British Columbia locally within our riding?
BC Liberals are committed to working with local First Nations leaders and Aboriginal people towards meaningful reconciliation. As government, we have worked closely with First Nations and Aboriginal people to improve the quality of life through new economic partnerships, resource development revenue sharing, and closing gaps in health, education, skills training, and employment.
If elected, I will meet with local First Nations to look for practical ways we can work together to strengthen the local economy to benefit everyone, and that includes them in the economic value chain.
7. One Cowichan has been facilitating a petition for the federal government to allocate adaptation to climate change infrastructure funds to raise the Cowichan weir for the Cowichan River. How will you work to bring the provincial government to the table as an active partner to move this initiative forward?
Raising the Cowichan weir is an example of what I can do once I am in Victoria. In these changing times, we need a reliable water supply for our businesses. We can’t have the Crofton Mill closing down every summer because it cannot get enough water. This has gone on too long.
8. What made you decide to run in this election?
I retired and moved back to BC with my husband. Over the last two years, I have become increasingly frustrated with the way local problems aren’t addressed. Only a dedicated and determined MLA can get these problems fixed. That is the kind of MLA I was for 14 years in Alberta, and it is the kind of MLA I want to be for the people here, it is what they deserve.