I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at home and the ability to get around the riding over the last month. We live in an amazing part of the province and, as much as I like Victoria, it’ll be hard to head back down there for the spring session, which starts on Feb. 14 and runs through to the end of May.
Despite starting on Valentine’s Day, I don’t expect this session to be a love-in. The Liberal party’s attack ads, the teachers’ dispute, log exports, the state of our justice system, child poverty and the provincial budget will provide a lot of fodder for partisan debate.
As an Independent I have the luxury of staying above the partisanship and will focus my energies on the implications of the budget for our riding, the state of our forests and the industry that depends on them (including continuing to drive the bioeconomy strategy so we can grow our forest industry), continuing to call for radical change to the Pacific Carbon Trust, and advocating for more support for our agriculture sector. I’ll also have easier access to ministers to bring constituent concerns directly to their attention. In preparation for the session, I’ve spent time in the southern part of the riding (especially Williams Lake, Likely and Horsefly), met with business and industry leaders, discussed education reform with teachers and school trustees, and addressed individual constituent concerns.
I also had the pleasure of visiting, for the first time, the easternmost border of the riding where I met with some constituents who live at the end of Black Creek Road past Horsefly. Though the bulk of my time will be spent in Victoria over the coming months, I will be focused on bringing our region’s voice to Victoria so we can continue to get the resources we need to address our challenges and maximize our opportunities.
You can follow what I’m doing in Victoria and here in Cariboo North by signing up for my newsletter at bobsimpsonmla.ca.
Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.