We’ve been making progress on our path to make life more affordable for British Columbians. Already, the positive impacts of our people focused budget are being felt in communities across the province.
In our community of Victoria-Swan Lake, I am so pleased to welcome a new hip and knee replacement program at Royal Jubilee Hospital. This program is one of five being implemented throughout the province to reduce wait times and more efficiently coordinate the entire surgical process. Access to fast and effective healthcare services has long been a priority for constituents in this riding and I am so happy to see a new $11 million investment to allow tens of thousands more MRI exams to be completed annually. These new exams will shorten wait times, improve access to care and help to improve patient outcomes. Smart healthcare investments like these are just the first of many improvements our government is making to create a patient focused, efficient and effective, healthcare system.
It was a real pleasure to visit our neighbours in Colwood to announce a 600 seat high school and gym expansion and play a friendly game of soccer with the students at Royal Bay Secondary. The West Shore community is growing rapidly and providing students with enough room to grow is essential. We know that alongside these new investments we need to maintain our existing buildings to keep learning environments safe. That’s why we expanded the School Enhancement Program funding across the province by $20 million this year. This fund is essential to maintain the existing infrastructure and supports school improvements like window and flooring upgrades coming for Mount Douglas High. School District 61 will receive $3,983,030 in Annual Facilities Grant funding to make sure local schools are safe and well-maintained.
An exciting new program was recent launched that will give young adults the opportunity to expand their skillset by becoming Student Park Rangers. This program provides training and employment to 48 young adults in B.C.’s beautiful outdoors. We’ve also seen young adults being supported with new trades and tech equipment. Camosun College received $500,000 for modern trades’ equipment that will ensure student’s skills are up-to-date when graduating and heading into apprenticeships. These two programs focus on making sure students are receiving support in developing the skills for their futures.
Our government is also looking to make basic insurance rates more fair and affordable for British Columbians. A public engagement is underway to make sure your voice can be heard on how ICBC rates are designed. Provide your thoughts and opinions here: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/ratefairness/
As always, I appreciate hearing from you. In addition to dropping by the community office or sending me an email, I invite you to join me at our upcoming “Coffee & Conversation” events. From 11am-1pm on Saturday April 21st I will be at Koffi in Oaklands (1441 Haultain St.) and from 11am-1pm on Saturday, May 26th we will be at Gorge-ous Coffee (300 Gorge Rd. W). Hope to see you there!