Pacific Rim Region Coastal Safety Coordination Meeting

I very much appreciated the invitation by Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Manager of Community Initiatives Brooke Wood to attend the "Pacific Rim Region Coastal Safety Coordination Meeting" in Tofino on March 4th. This meeting was initiated by myself and federal environment minister Steven Guilbeault to bring together various organizations to enhance regional recreational coastal safety through education, prevention and response strategies. Community representatives in attendance were loud and clear about the reinstatement of the 36 year old Surf Guard Program at Incinerator Rock which has the highest rate of incidents and drowning fatalities since the Conservative government shut it down in 2012 as part of the Harper/Poilievre austerity program that included cuts to veterans services, fisheries offices and scientific research. Ironically, they pointed out, several beaches within national parks on the East Coast of Canada are far less dangerous with fewer visitors but include life saving programs. I pledged to continue the fight for Surf Guard in Parliament. I’m not backing down on this.

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Indigenous Nurses Day

Today, the Province of British Columbia proclaimed "Indigenous Nurses Day" to celebrate and honour Indigenous Nurses for their contributions to supporting the safety, health and well-being of all the people in British Columbia. Last week, I was pleased to meet up with my friend Qualicum Beach resident Marilyn Van Bibber, a founding member of the Registered Nurses of Canadian Indian Ancestry in 1975- since renamed, the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association. Thank you to all those Indigenous nurses over the generations for being strong advocates and change agents to advance health equity, create culturally safe care environments for Indigenous Peoples and eradicate Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in our health care system. Happy Indigenous Nurses Day to you all!

National Dental Care Day

Thanks to volunteers who joined me for a National Dental Care Day of Action on Saturday! And thanks especially to the residents of Parksville and Courtenay who greeted us so warmly on their doorstep. Our dental care program is the first major change to Canada's universal health care system in sixty years and such an important benefit for so many. Millions of Canadians have already enrolled and millions more are eligible so it’s important that we get the word out. Please contact my team if you have questions or are having difficulty with the enrolment process: 1-844-620-9924

Tour of Union Bay Hall

Thanks to Rick Weaver and Tammy Mercer, President of Fanny Bay Community Association for a tour of the iconic Union Bay Hall to have a look at the improvements funded by the federal New Horizons grant. This included new interior lighting and a new roof for the hall along with an interior sign, complete with a much appreciated shout-out for my work. They also told me about work on their water pump shed and planning for a new playground. Tammy told us about improvements to the Fanny Bay Community Hall as well, including new floors, foundation work and a new playground. These wonderful community facilities have hosted so many events over generations and are worth the investment.

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