Just a little more than a year ago I became your MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin. The learning curve for a brand new MLA is significant under normal circumstances, but it has been even more intense given the events of the past year. In 2021, we experienced COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin, including in Cariboo Memorial Hospital. We saw flooding in the spring and then of course horrendous wildfires across the region, and particularly the South Cariboo, this past summer. Just recently we witnessed devastating heavy rains destroy infrastructure around B.C., flooding cities like Abbotsford and Merritt, and leading to highway closures that cut the Cariboo and other parts of the Interior off from southern B.C.
Through all of this I have tried to bring you up-to-date information and have advocated for so many people stuck in the cracks of the system. From families in need, to businesses on the point of insolvency. Advocating for people from all walks of life, such as trappers and ranchers who lost so much in the wildfires and calling for improvements to the roads to Dog Creek, Tatla and so many more. Despite this year’s challenges, we have done our best to meet the needs of the people of the Cariboo, and I will continue to fight to ensure their voices are heard in Victoria.
My offices in both Williams Lake and 100 Mile House have been extremely busy and throughout the last year we have built a strong team, including my wonderful constituency assistants Jenny Huffman and Bev Marks who process an unbelievable amount of work. Along with them are my legislative assistant Hannah Levett and of course my communications officer Abigail Uher, who have been instrumental in helping convey both your messages and mine this past year.
Team Cariboo Chilcotin is always at your service. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent this region, grateful that you have been patient as I learn this new role and grateful for your support as we all navigate some of the most challenging times any of us have ever lived through.
Happy New Year and bring on 2022!