Normally budget consultations are a pretty dry affair.
Nine MLAs representing each different party travel to the four corners of the province and ask people what priorities should be contained in the next provincial budget.
As you can imagine, most final reports of the Finance Committee draw down to party politics.
But this year was different.
This time the MLAs were unanimous on B.C. wildfire recovery.
The report said: “Committee members heard from business owners in areas affected by the wildfires who are facing labour shortages due to a number of employees not returning home after evacuation.” They also called for incentives to harvest fire-damaged timber.
In other words, the message is starting to get through.
This is great news for people in our region because – for once — the politicians in Victoria can all agree on something.
I hope this attitude will follow through the holiday season and right up to budget day next February. We need to bring the magic back into people’s lives.
This summer hurt small business in more ways than you can imagine. But with Christmas around the corner, we can help each other out if we buy local.We can start with great handmade shopping at the Medieval Market coming up on Nov. 25th and 26th.
The Santa Claus Parade and the Winter Lights Festival on December 2nd is also a great way to take the whole family out.
We may even see people that left during the evacuations and are only now coming back to visit family over the holidays.
Hopefully we can convince some of them to stay.
It may take a while to fully mobilize a solid recovery effort from the provincial government.
And that’s why it is so important to make a special effort this holiday season to help each other in the best way we can.