Happy holidays and ‘Prosperity’ in the new year

Christmas in the Cariboo-Chilcotin is a special time.

Christmas in the Cariboo-Chilcotin is a special time. We’re already lucky to live in these beautiful surroundings, but they seem to be more magical this time of year. Maybe it’s the falling snow, or the chillier temperatures that keep us cozy inside with the ones we love.

For me, it’s a time to spend with family and friends as we enjoy sharing a meal, gifts and memories from Christmas past. It’s a time to reflect on the year that was, and also look ahead to the future.

This year, I was privileged to be re-elected as your MLA and to continue raising your issues and concerns in Victoria. And as we look ahead to 2014, I am wishing for much ‘Prosperity’ for our region.

The importance of the Prosperity Mine cannot be understated, especially after the devastation of the mountain pine beetle epidemic. This $1.5 billion dollar project will provide a big boost to our local economy. It will create about 700 construction jobs, and once the mine is up and running it will create about 500 full-time direct jobs and 1,280 indirect jobs.

My colleague, Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett, recently travelled to Ottawa to send a strong message about the value of this project to a rural community like ours. Let’s hope that all of our efforts behind this project pay off in 2014 and beyond.

In the meantime, I hope all of you get to enjoy a relaxing holiday break. If you’re going to be travelling on our roads, don’t forget to check the DriveBC website ahead of time. There, you’ll find up-to-date road conditions so you can plan the best route. Please drive with care to ensure other motorists get to their destinations safely as well. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.