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COMMUNITY UPDATE from
MLA Jackie Tegart


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Message from Jackie

The past three months have been busy in the riding. Spring came early this year and brought with it a renewed sense of energy and optimism across rural BC. Our province, under Premier Christy Clark's leadership, continues to lead Canada in economic growth, and exciting things are happening in the riding of Fraser-Nicola.
 
I had the opportunity, over the past few months, to visit many of the communities in our riding. One thing that stood out in all the places I visited was the many people who volunteer their time and talent to make their communities such great places to live.
 
The community of Clinton hosted a volunteer appreciation evening in February, and I was pleased to be in attendance. Congratulations to Zee Chevalier, who was named Citizen of the Year for 2015, and to all the many dedicated people who make Clinton such a successful small town, including Robin Fennell who has been named as one of this year’s recipients of a BC Community Achievement Award.

I also attended a special ceremony in Lillooet in April, when six very deserving long-time Lillooet residents were named Freemen of the district municipality. Arnold and Aggie Malm, Bob and Stu Dew, Thor Davidson and Noel Baker where honoured for their thousands of hours of volunteerism over their lifetime.

Wherever I travelled in the riding, volunteers were busy improving the quality of life in their communities; the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society, Taste of Lillooet Fall Festival Society, the Green Lake Snowmobile Society, HUB volunteers in Ashcroft developing the old elementary school into a centre for arts, culture and fitness, the volunteers who keep the Royal Canadian Legions running, to name just a few.
 
In several instances, I was happy to provide volunteers with financial assistance from the Province of British Columbia, to ensure that their community events and programs continue to enrich the lives of rural residents.
 
On behalf of the Province of BC, I was thrilled to present a cheque for
$500,000 to New Pathways to Gold, a grass roots group that promotes tourism, First Nations Reconciliation, job creation and celebration of Canada's 150 years of Confederation.

The Historic Hat Creek Ranch will benefit from a grant of $250,000 to expand the fire suppression building, ensuring that this important piece of BC history is protected for generations to come.

The Legislature sat from February 9 to May 19, 2016 and important initiatives, specifically targeting rural communities, were established.
 
The Rural Dividend is a $75 million, three-year program, created to help rural communities with populations under 25,000, diversify and strengthen their economies. Local governments, not-for-profit organizations and First Nations are eligible to apply. Applications for the first year's funding are being accepted from April 4 to May 31, 2016. All information, forms etc. are available at www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend.
 
As our citizens age, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to get around. Sometimes elderly people ignore their health issues because it is simply too difficult to arrange rides, overcome mobility issues or deal with the economics of traveling for medical appointments, particularly in rural areas. Consequently, minor health issues go undiagnosed and untreated, until they become major conditions. The Community Paramedicine program is being expanded in the Fraser-Nicola riding to address these very issues.
 
Princeton, Lytton and Logan Lake are each receiving one full time paramedic and Clinton is receiving a 0.75 full-time equivalent. Lillooet, Gold Bridge and Seton-Shalath will share a full time paramedic. These paramedics will work with local health care providers to provide non-urgent care in patients' homes and in the community.
 
Care might include monitoring blood pressure, assisting diabetics with their care, identifying falling hazards, post-injury or illness evaluation and assisting with respiratory conditions.
 
Paramedicine service is expected to begin in these communities in early 2017.
 
Premier Clark and our Liberal government are taking a multi-pronged approach to improve quality of life and create jobs in the province. BC leads the country in economic growth and that trend is expected to continue. To ensure that success is shared, BC's minimum wage is being increased, in two increments over the next two years, to at least $11.25 in 2017. Workers at entry level jobs, in the service industry and our young workers will all benefit from this increase. For full time workers, that means $1,400 more in their pocket each year.
 
We also recognize the importance of small business, particularly in rural communities, so we are reconfirming a decrease in the small business tax by 40 per cent by 2017.
 
In conjunction with the above initiatives, we are announcing a further $2.9 million investment in job training through the Canada Job Grant and the Get Youth Working program. Qualifying businesses can receive up to $15,000 per person in training costs if they hire someone who is unemployed.
 
In order to provide better care options for seniors and added protection for those in assisted living residences our government has introduced amendments to the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. These amendments will make life easier for seniors by allowing seniors to remain in assisted living facilities longer, and by removing the limit on the number of prescribed services for individuals in assisted living residences.
 
I've been honoured, in the past few months, to have fellow MLAs, Ministers and the Premier in the riding to meet with community groups, industry leaders and Mayors and Council. Most recently, on May 13, 2016, Premier Clark and MLA Linda Larson joined me in Princeton at Copper Mountain Mine to celebrate Mining Day. In an earlier ceremony Copper Mountain Mine was also presented with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of their support of apprentices.

Minister of Environment, Mary Polack, joined me in Ashcroft and Cache Creek in March. We toured the Cache Creek landfill and met with citizens and municipal leaders.

Travelling throughout the riding, often making multiple stops in a weekend, talking to constituents at coffee shop drop ins, chatting at community events, and bringing their messages to the Legislature, I am humbled and inspired by their vision, hard work and love for their communities and their province. I have been nominated by acclimation to run for the riding of Fraser-Nicola on behalf of the Liberal Party of BC in the 2017 provincial election and I look forward to continuing to represent all of you in the coming months and years.

BC Government News

The 11th edition of the BC Seniors Guide is out! The guide is a one-stop resource for information on everything from healthcare to housing to finances and transportation. Get your free copy today.
During warm weather, or on a humid day, temperatures in vehicles can rise sharply in 10 to 20 minutes, even in the shade with the windows partly open, and can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill your pet.
Effective June 1st, new financial penalties for distracted driving will be calculated using the base fine of $368 combined with escalating ICBC driver penalty point premiums, which start at $175 for the first offence and climb for any additional offence within a 12-month period.
Fines for drivers passing school buses with flashing lights in British Columbia are more than doubling to $368.
BC is taking a tougher stand on irresponsible behaviour that leads to increased wildfire risks. New fines are in effect.
Visit PreparedBC to take the survey and find out if you are ready for a disaster. You can also follow @PreparedBC on Twitter for preparedness tips and tricks.

Government Investing in Fraser Nicola - Funding Announcements

- $33,350 to the Princeton Ground Search and Rescue Society to help bolster training, administrative support and equipment renewals.

- $30,000 for improvements and development of a day use area at Kentucky-Alleyne Park near Merritt.

- $400,000 to School District 58 for improvements to Princeton Secondary School.

- $313,390 to School District 74 for improvements David Stoddart Secondary School in Clinton.

- $500,000 to New Pathways to Gold to support heritage tourism, First Nations reconciliation and economic development.

- $14,000 to Village of Clinton to upgrade lighting, sound system, and stage curtain for Memorial Hall.

- $56,500 District of Logan Lake to support their LED community sign project.

- $10,000 to support the Lillooet Harvest Festival.

- $10,000 to Nicola Valley Theatre Society for business planning.

- $10,000 to the HUB Society in Ashcroft for purchase of fitness equipment.

 
- $5,000 to the Green Lake Snowmobile Society for Community Center renovations.

- $250,000 to Hat Creek Ranch to assist with expansion of their fire suppression building to accommodate their fire equipment.

- $23,100 gaming grant to Lillooet and District Minor Hockey Association.

- $8,500 gaming grant to Princeton’s Kokanee Summer Swim Club Society.

- $275,300 to five regional organizations to help control the spread of invasive plants:
  • Southern Interior Weed Management Committee: $130,000
  • Thompson-Nicola Regional District: $20,000
  • Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen: $12,500
  • Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society: $71,300
  • Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society: $41,500
 
- $16,820 in grants from the B.C. Arts Council
  • Nicola Valley Community Arts Council (Merritt): $6,020
  • Princeton Community Arts Council: $10,800      

Community Events

Merritt
  • June 5 – Kids Try It Triathlon
  • June 12 – Merritt Country Run
  • June 18 – First Nations Traditional Games
  • July 8 to 11 – Bass Coast Music Festival
  • July 28 to 31 – Rockin’ River Music Festival
 
Princeton
  • June 11 and 12 – Princeton Stan Thompson Memorial Rodeo
  • July 9 – Princeton Show & Shine
  • Aug. 11 – Fat Dog 120 Endurance Race
  • Aug. 19 to 21 – Princeton Traditional Music Festival
 
Clinton
  • May 27 – Old Timers’ Tea, 1 to 3 p.m. at the Clinton Memorial Hall
  • May 28 – Western Heritage Week Parade, 11 a.m.
  • May 28 and 29 – Clinton May Ball Rodeo and Dance (Rodeo at 1 p.m., 4-H Steak Dinner at 5 p.m. and Dance at 8 p.m.)
 
Ashcroft
  • June 5 – Skip’s Charity Run
 
Cache Creek
  • June 10 and 11 – Cache Creek’s Annual Graffiti Days Weekend
 
Lillooet
  • May 28 - Lillooet Lions Club 60th Anniversary Dinner/Dance
  • May 28 - Outdoor festival
 
Bridge River Valley
  • July 1 – Canada Day Celebration and Ball Tournament
  • August 19 to 21 - Bridge River Valley summer festival
 
Skeetchestn Indian Band
  • August 19 to 21 - 34th Annual Secwepemc Gathering

Connect with Jackie

I also want to hear from you. If you have any questions or comments you can contact me through one of my constituency offices or by sending an email to: Jackie.Tegart.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Ashcroft Constituency Office

Drop-In Hours: Mon, Wed and Fri, 11:00am - 4:00pm
405 Railway Avenue
Ashcroft, BC

Office: (250) 453-9726
Toll free: 1-877-378-4802
Merritt Constituency Office

Drop-In Hours: Tuesday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
2-2152 Quilchena Avenue
Merritt, BC

Office (250) 378-8831
 
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Our mailing address is:

Box 279, Ashcroft  BC, V0K 1A0


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