Skip to content

Column: Looking ahead to 2022 — Port Coquitlam MLA

Mike Farnworth hopes constituents and residents across the Tri-Cities can help take care of their communities to encourage a positive year.
Mike Farnworth celebrated 30 years since his first election as Port Coquitlam MLA (1991) in October 2021.

The following column was submitted to the Tri-City News from Mike Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam.

In 2022, it is more important than ever that we take care of our community, and make sure that people and businesses have the support they need to make a strong recovery.

That’s why our government is providing relief programs for local businesses and continuing to put people first with our pandemic response. 

This past year was difficult for everyone and we’ve all had our resilience tested at every turn. Many of us had hoped that COVID-19 was something we could leave behind in 2021, but unfortunately the virus is still with us.

I want to thank everyone that has done their part in our fight against COVID-19.

The choices you’ve all made to get vaccinated, wear a mask, and stay home when you’re feeling sick have all made a positive impact on our community.

I also know that our local businesses are struggling with the continued impacts of the pandemic. Our government is here to support them.

For restaurants that have pivoted from in-person dining to take-out and delivery, we’ve extended the cap on fees that can be charged to restaurants by delivery apps. This means more money will stay with the local businesses and their workers.

We’ve also made sure that the businesses that remain temporarily closed due to public health orders are supported through our new relief grant.

Eligible businesses who are complying with the orders to remain closed, such as bars and nightclubs, can now receive up to $20,000 to help cover costs including wages, rent, and utilities.

Following the wildfires and floods of the past year, the Province is working with First Nations, Local Governments and industry to ensure affected British Columbians receive the support they need. It is important that we not only recover from these disasters, but also recover in a way that helps to mitigate the risk to our communities in the future.

When our government came to office, we acted quickly to disrupt financial crime by launching a Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering, to better understand the scope of the issue. Our goal is to reduce money laundering, stamp out crime, and protect the safety and security of British Columbians.

We look forward to reviewing the findings and recommendations of the Cullen Commission when we receive the final report in May 2022.

Also in 2022, we are expecting the report from the Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act. This all-party committee will review the role of police with respect to mental health, harm reduction and systemic racism, and make recommendations to the legislature on how B.C.’s Police Act can be updated to better reflect today’s challenges and needs.

As I look ahead to 2022, I am looking forward to taking more action to make life better and affordable for British Columbians.

Families across the province will benefit from an expansion of $10-a-day childcare, and we’ll be reducing average childcare fees for children under six by as much as 50 per cent by the end of 2022.

We’ll also be working on the biggest rate reduction in ICBC’s history, which reduced car insurance rates by 20 per cent on average in 2021.

I know that we have much more to do and that 2022 will bring its own challenges, but I look forward to working together so we can build a stronger B.C. for everyone.