Working as an MLA representing the Cariboo Chilcotin, my days can sometimes be very challenging.
But everything is balanced by those rewarding moments when I have the opportunity to get out of the office and really connect with my constituents. On Tuesday, Aug. 23 I had the privilege and honour of touring my constituency with Don McRae, minister of agriculture.
The tour began with a visit to the Williams Lake 4-H show and sale at the Williams Lake Stockyards. We were very impressed with the youth and their many projects. They work so hard and are very dedicated to their animals. We happened to visit on swine day, and if you haven’t experienced watching the youth show their pigs, let me tell you it is very exciting and well worth attending.
Next we were off to the Chilcotin where we had lunch at Al and Bev Madley’s house with a few of their ranching neighbours. It was a great opportunity for the minister and I to hear local concerns of the ranching community such as predator control and invasive weeds. We’ve heard from ranchers that there’s been a real explosion of noxious weeds on the rangeland. In follow up to this, Minister McRae sat down with the BC Cattlemen’s Association in Kamloops last week to discuss the matter. Later in the day we showed off the healthy hay crops we have this year in the Chilcotin and the minister was able to see first hand the destruction from last year’s fires. I think it’s important to remind everyone that we’re not clear out of forest fire season just yet. It’s still incredibly important to practice safety this upcoming Labour Day long weekend when many of you will be away camping. Next we went to Felix and Jasmin Schellenberg’s for a tour of their abattoir in Redstone. Their state-of-the-art facility offers organic services certified by the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society. Minister McRae was impressed with their environmentally-friendly practices. Finally, we stopped at Dean and Lorraine Miller’s at Big Creek for a quick visit and listened to their ranching concerns. It was clear to see they were happy to have their elected officials tour the area to understand the issues that affect their lives.
It’s nice to get out to the rural areas of my riding and I always enjoy visiting the people of Chilcotin. I was very proud to show off my constituency to Minister McRae.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.