COMMENT: Larson on life as an MLA; Christmas wishes
I am often asked the question, “How do you like Victoria?” Well, Victoria is a beautiful city and I enjoy my time there, but MLAs have a range of responsibilities that also bring us to different regions of the province. As a member of two parliamentary committees, I attend meetings with MLAs from both parties. In addition to this, as Parliamentary Secretary, I spend time working with the Ministry of Health to make sure that we are addressing issues facing seniors not only in my riding, but throughout the province. At home, I have taken advantage of the recent good weather to get out in the Boundary almost every week, as well as to the Similkameen Valley, and any place where there was an event or meeting that I could fit into my calendar.
Our constituency office handles a very interesting assortment of issues. The majority of our calls come from people who have problems of a more personal nature, and need help working through a particular government agency or department. We act as a resource to guide people through the appropriate procedure or system. We are not an agency that can change or bend existing rules for people, but we can advocate on their behalf, and direct them to the appropriate department. Sometimes we even get to see things to a happy conclusion. It is those days that make the hard work so rewarding.
Another important aspect of the work we do in my constituency office relates to issues that impact water, forestry, highways, and agriculture. We do our best to help communities with concerns that fall within provincial jurisdiction, and arrange meetings with the ministers or ministry staff when we can.
The upcoming holiday season brings joy to most, but unfortunately sadness to others, as we reflect on the past year. It is an important time to gather with friends and family to celebrate or remember loved ones who have passed. For many seniors who are alone, this can be a very difficult time for them. Take a moment out of your busy lives to check up on a senior in your neighborhood who is alone during the holidays. As a community, we can all take the time to make sure their sidewalks and pathways are clear of ice or snow, and reduce the risk of injury when they go out to get groceries or visit friends. It’s the small things we do for others, showing kindness and compassion, which truly reflect the spirit of the holiday season.
If you are passing through the Oliver area, please stop at my constituency office on Friday, December 20, between 3 and 6 p.m. for our holiday open house. We will be serving some sweet treats and would love to see you there. The office will close over the holidays, but emails and phone calls will still be returned.
I’d like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy New Years, and a healthy and prosperous holiday season.