Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said 2019 was full of triumphs and tough challenges. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said 2019 was full of triumphs and tough challenges. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

MLA Barnett weighs the pros and cons of 2019

The Cariboo-Chilcotin Liberal MLA continues to work hard for the region

When asked to outline the positive and negative aspects of 2019, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett 2019 provided her own insights, saying she is proud of the resiliency of the people who live and work in the region.

Here is Barnett’s list and comments.

Positive accomplishments in 2019

1. Two major highway improvement projects were completed near Williams Lake — Highway 97 four-laning near Williams Lake Indian Band and the Toop and Carson intersection.

They were completed after what took many years from when it was first approved by then Liberal Minister Todd Stone.

2. The new Northern Seawolf ferry for Bella Coola was finally put in service and is providing a better future for the area.

3. Final approval to go ahead with Cariboo Memorial Hospital’s redevelopment planning, although she cannot wait to see shovels in the ground.

4. There were no wildfires.

5. The crime rate is down.

6. Announcement of the Indigenous Court for Williams Lake is good news. She said when she was mayor of 100 Mile House, she was involved with restorative justice and through that experience learned in some cases incarcerating people does not seem to be the answer.

7. Funding from Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin to businesses and organizations to help with moving forward after the wildfires was a great help.

Negatives and challenges in 2019

1. With the downturn of the forest industry, Barnett said she has talked to many people who are lost.

They’ve looked into programs being offered, but for some there has not been any help. Businesses are hurting, she said and the sad part is the province has such a long way to go.

“The government is w0rking on another forestry plan but so far there seems to be no answers.”

How land use will be determined moving forward is also causing uncertainty, Barnett said.

“I am all about reconciliation but it has to be transparent and have everyone involved and engaged. We all work and live together and that includes what our landscape is going to look like in the future.”

2. Lack of nurses, care aids, home support and daycare workers is a “huge” problem for the region and Barnett said Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus needs to expand its courses to open up more seats for students.

“We have people living in Williams Lake who would take the course if they could in their hometown.”

3. Closure of Mount Polley last May was a big blow that hit through the whole region.

4. Flooding impacted ranchers in the Big Creek area and many have been left to figure it out on their own, Barnett said. “There’s been a bit of funding, but it has been inadequate.”

5. While the cost of living keeps going up, people are happy about not having to pay for MSP, but that is now being picked up by industry, businesses and local governments who have been hit hard. The cost, she added, ends up going up for consumers as a result.

Looking toward 2020, Barnett said she hopes the federal and provincial government will get back to the table to settle the softwood lumber agreement.

“It should be a high priority for both governments.”

She also hopes there will be wildfires in 2020, but instead the fire will be lit under government to look at its own taxation.

“I have to commend local governments that are holding to a zero tax increase.”



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The wind has been gusting Friday, March 5 in Williams Lake with the risk of a thunderstorm in the forecast for later in the afternoon. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
More than 500 customers in Cariboo without power, risk of thunderstorm Friday afternoon

The BC Hydro map is adding more power outages as the afternoon unfolds

Many members of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club (pictured) have teamed up with the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society to host a free ski in celebration of World Water Day. (Patrick Davies photo - Black Press Media)
Conservation society, cross country ski club, celebrate World Water Day with free ski March 6

The free ski will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 6 at Bull Mountain

International Women’s Day is March 8. (Internationalwomensday.com)
International Women’s Day 2021: #choosetochallenge

International Women’s Day is marked annually on March 8

The OT Timber Frames Ltd. crew of Wacey MacDonald (from left), Sean Empey, Josh Douglas, Kurt Leuenberger, Ruedi Baumann, Simon Gansner, Annie Murray (in front) and Josie the dog stand in front of a newly constructed timber frame outdoor classroom for the 150 Mile House Elementary School. (Photo submitted)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Chief Don Tom of the Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA reveals COVID-19 outbreak

Tsartlip First Nation chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA apologizes

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Most Read