Lunch with Kackaamin Family Development Centre

Nice to enjoy a working lunch at the Broken Bow with Kackaamin Family Development Centre staff, Executive Director Lisa Robinson, Program Manager Jackelyn Williams and Peer Support Worker Noah Thomas. The Broken Bow is a fabulous new 100% gluten free restaurant at Port Alberni’s Harbour Key. We discussed challenges to accessing program funding in the face of chronic underfunding of services and issues for Indigenous people in the Canadian Justice system. The federal government needs to apply the "Gladue principles" which require judges to take into consideration the individual circumstances of the person before them in determining a fair sentence. This is critically important to keeping families together and connected. For more information about Kackaamin, one of only three family treatment centres in all of Canada, Click Here:

Port Alberni New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim

Brrrrrrr! That's me after a quick dip at Canal Beach in Port Alberni for the New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim, organized by The Peak (93.3FM) with help from Port Alberni Councillor John Douglas and a hardy crew of volunteers, First Responders and the Salvation Army which provided warm drinks and food. It was the first big Polar swim since COVID and proved that community spirit is alive and well in the Alberni Valley. You gotta love Alberni Valley Vibe’s Megan Warrender’s "I ❤️ PA" tee shirt, it was hugely popular. Such a great way to start off the new year! Best wishes to all!

Kettle Shift in Port Alberni


Happy to do a shift with the kettle in Port Alberni on Thursday with my kettle-partner, Nancy Wilmot from “The Scoop on Port Alberni”. Thanks to Mayor Minions and Major Ramsay for stopping by along with so many other Albernians who recognize the importance of the Community Food Bank and Bread of Life at this time of year. Many people are reliant on these essential services in our community so please give generously when you see the kettle or drop by 4835 Argyle Street in Port Alberni; In Tofino, Fish and Loaves Food Bank is available weekly at the Legion Hall parking lot at 331 Main Street every Wednesday from 10.30am – 11.30am; In Parksville, drop off donations at 886 Wembley Rd (250-248-8793); in Cumberland, go to the Food Shed at 2688 Penrith Ave; in Courtenay, go to the Comox Valley Food Bank at 1255 McPhee Ave; and, in Ucluelet, 160 Seaplane Base Rd. If you have details of other ways to donate, please leave a comment on this post. Thanks, everybody

Riding Holiday Skating Party 2023!

A great time at our final riding holiday skating party in Courtenay on Wednesday. All three of our skates (Parksville, Port Alberni and Courtenay) were a blast with more than 1,000 people attending! In Courtenay, we had a great turnout by local leaders Mayor Bob Wells, Councillors Wendy Morin and Doug Hillian, Cumberland Councillor Jesse Keller and CVRD board member Daniel Arbour. Thanks to Bob and Randy Chatterjee for volunteering and to Max from Experience Comox Valley for coming by on behalf of this great tourism organization to thank us for hosting this event in the community. It was truly our pleasure, of course, we were thrilled with the turnout of youth and families and were pleased to keep them warm with hot chocolate and snacks plus some great karaoke singing. Thanks to the hardworking staff at the Comox Valley Sports Centre for the great job!

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Kaackamin Childcare Centre

Thank you to the board, staff and volunteers of Kaackamin Childcare Centre for inviting me to say a few words at their Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Kaackamin is funded by Island Health, Health Canada, the First Nations Health Authority, School District 70, Aboriginal Head Start and Childcare BC. The childcare centre is part of the larger Kaackamin Family Development Centre which includes 16 housing units, an admin building, gymnasium, counselling and learning centres, a toddler centre, and play facilities. The toddler centre is a nurturing and safe place for newborns and toddlers up to five years old. A wonderful new addition to this unique treatment centre.

Qualicum Beach Volunteer Appreciation Reception

A great time was had by all again this year at the Qualicum Beach Volunteer Appreciation Reception. Each year, the Town hosts a wonderful gala event with great food, music and speeches honouring the amazing volunteers that make the town hum! I was pleased to be invited by Mayor Westbroek to say a few words. This year, the Above and Beyond Award was presented to Del Kristalovich of the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. Del is a volunteer legend in Oceanside and is well deserving of this special recognition! Thanks for your service to the community to all those in attendance and the hundreds of other volunteers who give their time and energy to enhance our quality of life, support those who need help and protect our environment.

Annual Elders Lunch at Port Alberni Friendship Centre

For me, a highlight of the Season is joining the Annual Elders lunch at the Port Alberni Friendship Centre and this year was no exception. Always uplifting to share the joy and wisdom of the Elders and to visit the Friendship Centre where I have so many great memories over the years. Thanks to the board, Executive Director Cyndi Stevens, volunteers and cooks for a great lunch! Happy new year to all!

Moonlight & Magic Festival

Congrats to the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association and organizer Meaghan Cursons for another fantastic Moonlight & Magic in the streets of Courtenay. I never miss this annual extravaganza, a feast for the senses, this year especially—dancing in the street, great food, interactive art, official tree lighting, singalongs, wonderful costumes and discounted prices at local shops. I was pleased to set up a mobile office (with a face-painting table on the side) and very much appreciated hearing from constituents. Cost of living, affordable housing and health care are top-of-mind for most people. Small businesses need an extension on their CEBA loans and I heard this too. Great to see Mayor Bob Wells out and about again this year, we all appreciated Council’s decision to hold off the rain for this year’s event, well done Bob! Lots of time left to shop this holiday season, let’s do it locally!

MP Gord Johns Visits Parksville’s École Ballenas


The best part of my Member of Parliament job description, hands down, is showing up in the schools when invited by students or their teachers. On Friday, I was privileged to meet with the students of Parksville’s École Ballenas Secondary in the classrooms of Ms. Jessylee Spence (Political Science 12) and Deirdre Kennedy (Socials 10). Thanks to grade 11 students Tristan and Wyatt for greeting my assistant Cameron Leckenby and I and escorting us through the halls. Tristan remembered me from an Oceanside Elementary School visit years ago! I have lost count but I told the students this was between my 15th and 20th visit to Ballenas. I said a few words but the best part was fielding questions in the classroom. Many about the job of being a Member of Parliament and how I go about hearing constituents and representing their interests, they were curious about what it is actually like to do this work and I did my best to share my personal insight with them. Was I friends with opposition Members? What is the most heated debate I have been in? Have I ever had to stop a meeting because others are disrespectful? When I asked what is important to them, the first response was “the cost of housing”. As, always, I left with renewed hope for our future. Thanks to the administration, faculty and students of Bellanas for taking time to meet with me.

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