MLA Jackie Tegart

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Premier Christy Clark and I at Hope Brigade Days. Photo courtesy of The Hope Standard.
Message from Jackie

Not sure about my friends and neighbours but in my life, summer flew by so fast I barely had time to appreciate it! Seems the busier I am the quicker time goes! And the last few months have been chock full of meetings, community events, the Union of BC Municipalities Convention, challenges and celebrations.

This summer reinforced the importance of agriculture and agri-tourism in the Fraser Nicola Riding. No matter where I travelled in the riding, agriculture is flourishing, be it large cattle ranches, organic market gardens or back yard vegetable gardens or orchards. But the life of a farmer, regardless of the size of the spread or the product being produced, is dependent on the whims of nature and changes in the environment.  
(clockwise) 1. Horstings Farm in Cache Creek  2. Desert Hills in Ashcroft  3. Packing House in Spences Bridge  4. Venables Valley
The Honourable Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture, joined me in the riding on August 4th and 5th. We toured numerous agricultural holdings, talking with ranchers and farmers, including meeting with First Nations interested in putting some of their lands into production.

I encourage people to check out Grow Local BC, a program that provides funding over two years, up to $25,000, to ten organizations in the province, to access and use information about how to grow food.
Ranchers in the Nicola Valley are particularly concerned about water management and invasive weed species. Minister Letnick and I heard their concerns and will be bringing them forward in Victoria. If anyone is interested in finding out about BC's invasive plant program, information regarding research and funding is available at
I was delighted to present a Century Farm Award to the Hunter family at Scotty Creek Ranch near Cache Creek, on Highway 97. The family has been raising beef cattle on the property since 1916, and the third and fourth generations of the Hunter family are carrying on the family tradition. Congratulations and thank you for a century of providing premium beef to British Columbians.
I toured the riding throughout the summer in my motorhome, which proved to be a cost effective and personal way of connecting with constituents. I attended farmers' markets, fairs, festivals and BBQs, again all featuring local produce and local crafts. I was pleased to connect with municipal and First Nations leaders, citizens and business people in Hope, Yale and Boston Bar; these communities will be in the Fraser Nicola riding after the election in May, 2017.
(clockwise) 1. With MLA Linda Larson in Princeton  2.Tuckkwiowhum Heritage Village in Boston Bar  3. Yale Historic Site
I was honoured to attend Hope's Brigade Days parade with Premier Christy Clark and MLA Laurie Throness, and also attended the Stampede Parade in Merritt.
(top) Hope Brigade Days with Premier Christy Clark  (bottom) Merritt Stampede Parade
Haylmore Heritage Site was the scene of Bridge River Valley's Summer Festival. This spectacular corner of the riding is rich in pioneer and gold mining history; a back country adventure I relish. Meeting with local business leaders and members of the Bridge River Valley Community Association in a round table discussion, we discussed access into the valley, particularly via Road 40. On October 13th I facilitated a stakeholders' meeting, including staff from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, to increase certainty regarding current maintenance and future improvements on this challenging stretch of road.
Bridge River Valley Summer Festival Meetings with the Business Community and with Bridge River Community Association
Community events this summer wound up with the Lillooet Harvest Festival at Fort Berens Estate Winery, taking part in the welcoming ceremony at the 34th Annual Secwepemc Gathering and a canoe journey hosted by the Skeetchestn Indian Band. I also attended the Thompson Nicola Regional District Volunteer Appreciation event in Merritt.
I am pleased to announce that the Merritt Theatre Society has just received $100,000 from the Rural Dividend, moving the project to build a theatre and arts centre in downtown Merritt into its next phase. The interior of BC's health care infrastructure took another step forward with the opening of the Clinical Services Building at Royal Inland Hospital. Kamloops is the major medical centre for most of us living in the riding; we continue to ensure that BC's high standard of health care is accessible to rural residents.
I was pleased to accompany Minister of Aboriginal Relations, John Rustad, to a new revenue sharing signing ceremony between the Lower Nicola Indian Band and Teck's Highland Copper operations. We also visited the Upper Nicola Indian Band at Douglas Lake and NVIT.
I am pleased to announce that NVIT has received $100,000 in provincial funding for welding equipment, continuing to build on its trades program. I made a quick trip to Victoria for the welcome ceremony for Prince William and his lovely family. Our province is one of the most amazing places on earth and I think our people, our diversity, our warm welcome and BC's natural beauty made a lasting impression on the Royal Family.
Then it was back to business at the Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Victoria at the end of September. I attended numerous meetings between Ministers and community leaders, discussing far-ranging issues across the riding and providing support and follow-up. While the meetings are short, they clarify issues and concerns and help set the course for action in the following year.

Merritt and surrounding area will be facing a challenging year in 2017. Tolko Industries, which has operated its mill in Merritt since 1987, will close permanently on December 16, 2016. Citing a lack of timber supply in the wake of the mountain pine beetle epidemic, Tolko served notice to its 203 employees this summer.

I have been working with Mayor Neil Menard and Merritt Council, setting up meetings with Premier Christy Clark, Ministers Shirley Bond and Steve Thomson, Tolko representatives and BC's Community Transition Manager. Our office will continue to be involved with the transition team, helping impacted workers access programs and services throughout this difficult time.

Northern St'at'imc bands and the District of Lillooet were impacted when Ten Mile Slide north of Lillooet, on Highway 99, made a major slip. The highway was closed for eight days, causing a lengthy detour through Lytton for travellers accessing Kamloops and the Interior. The slide cut students off from their schools, communities from services in Lillooet, including emergency services, and had an immediate financial impact on the area's businesses.
With Minister of Transportation Todd Stone touring 10 Mile Slide on Hwy 99 east of Lillooet.
While the highway is now open to single lane, flagged traffic, we are seeking a permanent solution to this extremely tricky problem. I arranged a site visit on October 7th with Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone, and community leaders and we walked the slide. Minister Stone was definite about a long term fix but cautions that it could take time to come up with a plan and put it in action. I will continue to work on this issue; we all realize the importance of Highway 99 to local communities as well as Whistler, Kamloops and beyond.

I did have the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Watching the news, seeing turmoil in countries around the globe, we are so fortunate for the quality of life we enjoy in BC. So much to be thankful for!

I’ll be busy in the next few month following up on UBCM meetings, working in the Legislature and looking forward to the provincial election in May, 2017. If you need to contact me, please feel free to email me at or phone my office at 250 453-9726 or, if you see me on the street, stop and chat.

Local and Government News

Second Intake for Rural Dividend Fund applications closes on October 31, 2016. This funding assists rural communities (population of 25,000 or less) with growing and diversifying their economies.
B.C. Air Access Program - the deadline for 2017-18 funding is Dec. 16, 2016. Public airport operators, including local governments and other operating authorities, can apply. The program shares costs on projects like lighting and navigational systems, terminal building expansion or upgrades, and runway improvements.
BikeBC funding - the deadline for 2017-18 applications is Dec. 16, 2016. Available for communities to enhance and expand cycling infrastructure such as bike lanes, multi-use paths and trails, and cycling/pedestrian bridges.
Stronger Penalties for Distracted Driving. Offenders will face stiffer fines, more penalty points and possible driving prohibitions in an effort to eliminate distracted driving – a leading factor in deaths on BC’s roads.
Suggest a new Stop of Interest. The B.C. government is looking at adding 75 new signs to the Stops of Interest inventory, providing an opportunity to highlight other people, places and events
Have your say on your kids' K-9 progress report as part of modernizing and updating our education system. Deadline to submit is February 28th, 2017.
October is Small Business Month. Visit the Small Business BC website for free online webinars and other great resources & tools for entrepreneurs.
Every business needs funding. Learn more about loans, grants & funding for your business.
Government Investing in Fraser Nicola
NVIT Trades Equipment Funding  $100,000
Rural Dividend Program

• Shackan Indian Band  $100,000
• Ts'kw'aylaxw First Nation  $80,000
• Ashcroft Indian Band  $99,620
• Lower Nicola Indian Band $239,568
• Bridge River Indian Band $58,240
• Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society $100,000

Project Development Stream (up to $10,000)
• Village of Cache Creek $10,000
• Village of Clinton $10,000
• Village of Ashcroft $9,975
• Lytton Indian Band $10,000

Carbon Neutral Capital Program (CNCP)

• Merritt Secondary School  $363,000
• David Stoddart School      $100,000
Gaming Grants

• Lillooet Music Society  $2,850
• Princeton Skating Club Society  $7,500

Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP)

• Ashcroft  $7,321
• Cache Creek  $4,152
• Clinton  $3,084
• Logan Lake  $8,902
• Lytton  $694
• Merritt  $22,892
• Thompson-Nicola  $14,928


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:

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
Our mailing address is:

Box 279, Ashcroft  BC, V0K 1A0

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