Investing in Safe and Thriving Communities

The people that live in British Columbia are our greatest strength.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen our population grow. People want to live and raise their families in our communities. But at the same time, the impacts of climate change are putting pressure on some of our community infrastructure.

That’s why your New Democrat government, led by David Eby, is taking action to make sure that people in B.C. have what they need to build good lives in thriving, safe communities.

We’re building more hospitals and healthcare facilities, like a new hospital and cancer centre for Surrey in Cloverdale, and a new cancer centre in Kamloops. We’re also hiring and training more doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

File Photo – Photo Courtesy CFJC Today – Pattison Media

We’re expanding, upgrading and building more schools, so that kids can learn and play in safe, modern spaces. And we’re investing in active transportation projects so that people of all ages can get around their communities safely by walking, rolling or cycling.

We’re making it easier and faster to get around the region by building the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain, the first rapid transit expansion south of the Fraser River in over 30 years.
We’re also making sure our growing communities are prepared to withstand the impacts of climate change. This includes helping farmers better equip themselves to collect and store water, so they can continue producing the food we depend on, even during a drought.

For many of us, the flooding that Abbotsford’s Sumas Prairie experienced in 2021 was one of the most devastating examples of climate change impacts we’ve seen. We are making critical upgrades to the Barrowtown Pump Station in Abbotsford so that farms and homes will be better protected from future flooding.

Across the province, more than 1,700 other projects are underway to help communities prepare for climate-related emergencies. From installing river-level sensors in Richmond, to building a dike along the Coldwater River in Merritt, we are working with communities to provide the support they need.

If a disaster does happen, people want to know that help and support will be there. We are providing more funding for Emergency Support Services so that communities can upgrade their ESS supplies, equipment, and procedures. We’re also providing new, streamlined training so that we can get more volunteers prepared to respond to help their neighbours during an emergency. After all, the resilience of a community depends on the strength and resilience of the people who live there.

B.C. is a great place to live, but we know there is always more we can do to make our communities even stronger. As your provincial government, we’re going to continue investing in people, and the services and infrastructure that they need to thrive.

 ~ Mike Starchuk – MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale


The above article is an an opinion piece, “Investing in Safe and Thriving Communities”, originally published by CFJC Today, on March 20, 2024