West Coast Multi-Use Path

It's been a long time coming but the final leg of the 42km West Coast Multi-Use Path is now officially complete, thanks to the determination of MLA Josie Osborn, ACRD Chair John Jack, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government President Charles McCarthy and a legion of community leaders, including past and present mayors of Tofino and Ucluelet, and Parks Canada, municipal, and ACRD Staff, Elders and many volunteers. The path closes the 1.2-kilometre missing link between the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve ʔapsčiik ta̓ šii Trail and the ACRD Multi-Use Path that begins at the Junction and connects to the District of Ucluelet’s MUP. It has been made possible through important investments by the BC NDP provincial government, the federal government, ACRD and local fundraising.

On Friday I was proud to be included in the ribbon-cutting and took the occasion to speak to the significance and importance of active transportation for our physical and mental health, for the environment, connectivity between communities, lowering infrastructure costs and the local economy. Klecko Klecki to all involved! 

79th Annual Ceremonial Review for 386 Komox Air Cadets

Last weekend, it was my pleasure to participate in the 79th Annual Ceremonial Review for the 386 Air Cadets under the command of Reviewing Officer, Lieutenant- Colonel Francois Fasqulle. I was delighted to see so many constituents among the ranks and visitors. LCol Fasquelle emphasized the importance of teamwork, leadership, community service, courage and knowing your limits during his very inspirational remarks to the Cadets. 

Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department

Thanks to Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department Chief Leo Groenewegen and his all-volunteer crew for welcoming me to Saturday’s celebration of the Department’s 50th anniversary. I was glad to hear his view that my private members bill which led to the doubling of volunteer firefighter tax credits will help with recruitment. Great to see Parksville Councillor Sean Wood again along with RDN Chair Vanessa Craig and Electoral Area E rep Bob Rodgers. I enjoyed meeting volunteer firefighter John Thompson who retired after thirty-two years service. This fire hall handles more than two hundred calls a year, many health emergencies and motor vehicle accidents. All of the members are volunteers, contributing their time and making personal sacrifices along with their families, to provide an essential service to the community for which we are very grateful.

Oceanside IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer's

On Saturday, I was pleased to stop by the annual Ocean IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer's. This is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.'s flagship fundraiser and a war to celebrate and remember people affected by dementia. Donations help enable research into the causes of and cure for the disease. This year, Brian Ross was honored and I was very moved by his remarks and was pleased to say a few words myself. I was unable to go on the walk as I was on my way to the Family Day parade in Qualicum Beach. We put the name of the person we were there for and I wrote Tom- a lifelong friend of mine who is suffering from dementia. 



Family Day Parade

My pleasure to walk in the ever-wonderful annual Family Day Parade in Qualicum Beach on Sunday. Thanks to the Town Crier for leading this way, Qualicum First Nation Chief Michael Reclama and Mayor Westbrook for their warm welcome and the unstoppable Eva Holborn for showing up to promote her campaign to get books into the hands of early readers! And to all the young families and young-at-heart seniors for their greetings along the parade route. Also great to be walking along with Joanne Sales and her Broom Busting crew! It was the 46th annual Family Day Parade. I was happy to pass out Gord Johns organic salad mix seed packets from Omega Blue Farms. If you didn't get one, call my office (1-844-620-9924) and we will send you seeds for your garden or flower pot. 

2024 BC Nature Conference and AGM in Qualicum Beach

It was my pleasure, on May 10th, to participate in a panel discussion at the 2024 BC Nature Conference and AGM in Qualicum Beach. Delegates from BC Nature Conference and affiliated clubs from all over the province attended to discuss approaches to protecting biodiversity. My panel focused on "how to best engage with government representatives to protect local nature. Thanks to all who attended for your comments and questions and to Arrowsmith Naturalists for hosting this terrific gathering". 


Victoria Day Parade

Another wonderful Victoria Day Parade in the most wonderful of villages, Cumberland, B.C. No question that Cumberland knows how to throw a parade! Thanks to Cumberland Mayor Vickey Brown and Councillors Sullivan and Borecky, MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, the Honourable Josie Osborne and Comox Mayor Nicole Minions for walking with me and to all those along the parade route who greeted us so warmly. Congrats to this year's May Queen. I am told it was the 136th coronation of a May Queen in the history of Cumberland. It was delightful as always to share the joy of the children dancing around the May Pole, to listen to the stirring wail of the combined pipe bands from central Island and Powell River. At the end of the afternoon, the obligatory visit to the Canadian Legion to greet old friends and new. Thanks to the parade marshal and all the volunteers who made this parade so memorable again this year! PS - Go Canucks!

Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon in Parksville

Thanks to SOS Chair Paul Ruffell, Executive Director Susana Newton and the board, staff and volunteers for inviting me to attend their annual volunteer luncheon in Parksville. My office works hard with SOS to help get seniors the benefits to which they are entitled. Susanna told us: "Since last June MP Gord Johns office and the SOS have helped seniors in need receive $130,000 in pension benefits owed to them." The society of Organized Services is a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs and improving the lives of Oceanside residents. It was established in 1968 and its thrift shop draws thousands of customers from all over Vancouver Island and beyond each month. The revenues from the Shop along with community fundraising and government support flow to important community programs and services. Its more than 200 volunteers contribute their time and labour which would cost more than 1$ million annually if SOS was a for-profit enterprise. If you can volunteer for the success of our community, whether it's just one hour or several hours every week/month, give SOS a call at 250-248-2093 ext. 230 or email [email protected]. They would love to have you as a member of the family! 

National Day of Mourning in Port Alberni

Today, I was honoured to join workers gathered in Port Alberni in the territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth people to commemorate the National Day of Mourning and remember workers who have lost their lives, been injured or are living with physical or mental health disabilities due to work-related incidents. 

Tremendous progress has been made over many decades by the labour union movement in this province but there is much work still to do. There were 175 work-related deaths in our province in 2023 and we send our condolences to the families, loved ones and fellow workers of those who have been lost. More than half of these tragic deaths were due to occupational diseases including 48 caused by asbestos exposure, a disgrace in this era. 

In Port Alberni, the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences continues to make progress towards supporting the return-to-work for workers injured on the job. Statistics show that only %1 of workers injured in the workplace return to work if they don't return to work within 12 months of being injured. This stat needs to change . I call on the federal government to continue its support for PCU-WHS.

Thanks to Ron Corbeil and United Steelworkers United Local 1-1937, BC Federation of Labour, the Business Council of British Columbia and WorkSafeBC for today's commemoration and, importantly, their call to action. Let us renew our commitment to stand with workers and redouble our efforts to ensure safe working conditions for all. Without workers, there is no care, no growth, no profit. We must do everything we an to ensure their safety.


Qualicum Beach Farmers Market

It felt good to be back at the wonderful Qualicum Beach Farmers Market on Saturday for last minute shopping before heading back to Ottawa. Now in its twenty-seventh year, this is one of many outstanding farmers market in Courtenay-Alberni and I try to make the rounds to each one each year. Please support our local growers and producers, it's important to our local economies and food security. Thanks to market manager Laurie Elves and president Cheryl Reist and the entire board and all the vendors who show up every Saturday Morning from 8:30am to noon to make this market happen. As they say: As the "Eat Fresh. Buy Local. Be Healthy." 

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