Columns: Autumn a time to help out

Autumn is harvest time, time for cattle round ups and bonfires, raking leaves and bracing for another winter in the Cariboo and Chilcotin.

Autumn is harvest time, time for cattle round ups and bonfires, raking leaves and bracing for another winter in the Cariboo and Chilcotin.

Every year as we transition out of summer, I am reminded of the importance of our communities, and of the many ways we rely on our family, friends and neighbours.

Our forbearers in this wild country may have felt a stronger need for interdependence on the frontier than we do today. However, one of the realities of living in this area is that we still often find ourselves accepting a helping hand from our neighbours, and offering one in return when the time comes. Whether that means helping neighbours bale hay or round up cattle on our ranches, or shoveling an extra sidewalk in front of a neighbour’s house or business in town, I have seen the people of this area embody these bonds of community time and again.

We have a proud legacy of working hard and ensuring that we all get by together here. Our BC Liberal government recognizes and respects the fierce independence of communities like ours — that’s why we’re working hard to ensure that we create an environment that supports communities without infringing on their autonomy.

For example, because we have adopted a disciplined fiscal approach to provincial government and because of British Columbians’ hard work, we have been able to dedicate $75 million over the next three years to the BC Rural Dividend.

Designed to help small communities like Williams Lake boost their economies and improve life for their residents, the fund accepts applications from local governments, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations.

The second round of funding will soon be released — and it’s just one way we’re opening doors for neighbours to help neighbours.

As your MLA, I am proud of our community and the neighbourliness that keeps us together. As we move into winter, let us all remember the importance of going that extra mile to extend a helping hand.

Contact MLA Barnett’s constituency office:

Phone: 250-395-3916

E-mail: donna.barnett.mla@leg.bc.ca

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.