The following column was submitted to the Tri-City News from Rick Glumac, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam.
The Legislative Assembly is set to resume in just a few weeks. Being in session with my legislative colleagues is a critical part of my role as an MLA and is a responsibility that I take very seriously.
I welcome this upcoming opportunity to be a voice for my constituents and serve the interests of B.C. residents.
Though 2022 has already been met with new challenges related to COVID-19, British Columbians are once again responding with resiliency and care for one another. Despite the obstacles brought on by the pandemic, our provincial government has taken significant steps toward improving the lives of British Columbians.
It was recently announced that in 2021, B.C. added over 100,000 jobs across the province, one of the highest increases in the country. Our province is also showing one of the lowest unemployment rates in Canada at 5.3 per cent.
2022 also sees the rollout of province-wide access to five days of paid sick leave, funding for Indigenous-led clean energy projects and relief grants for businesses that have had to temporarily close due to COVID-19.
Our government is continuing to work with First Nations to protect old growth forests.
Just recently, an agreement between four member Nations of the Na̲nwaḵolas Council and Western Forest Products Inc. includes a deferral of approximately 2,500 hectares of old growth in support of B.C.’s Old Growth Strategy.
This is just one agreement and there are more in the works over the coming year.
With 2022 well underway, I have identified several key issues that I will be working on in the months ahead.
Since becoming an MLA, an important goal of mine has been to improve access to efficient and quality care for members of our community.
Last year I began working with Fraser Health to find a permanent location for an Urgent and Primary Care Centre (UPCC) in Port Moody.
UPCCs offer an effective combination of services in one location, from treating urgent but non-emergency issues like sprains or broken bones, to supporting individuals who do not have a family doctor but may have complex care needs. UPCCs are part of B.C.’s comprehensive strategy to transform our health system and improve access to health services.
In the coming year, I also expect to build on my work related to Burrard Thermal and the legislative changes I helped to bring forward to unlock a clean tech/clean energy future at the site. I expect further developments on this front in the near future.
As Premier’s Liaison to Washington State, I will continue collaborating with our neighbours to the south on a number of key issues in the year to come, from high-speed rail to climate preparedness.
This includes cross-border collaboration towards mitigating future catastrophic flooding events in the Abbotsford and Sumas areas.
I am hopeful that we can all continue to work together this year to make progress on these and other important issues in our province.