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MLA Update: flooding and supply chain information

An update on flooding and supply chain concernsBefore sharing some updates about goings-on in our community and recent government work, I want to begin my newsletter in hopes that I can inform and assist community members who may need it, with regards to the recent flooding and subsequent concerns.

This past week has been undoubtedly difficult for people across BC. We saw unprecedented rainfall and high winds that caused damaging flooding throughout much of the Province. While we were lucky here in Oak Bay-Gordon Head to not have experienced as much flooding and damage locally, this certainly affects everyone in one way or another. My heart goes out to all who are feeling the effects of this emergency.

We are working nonstop to get people to safety and provide the support they need. Our government has declared a State of Emergency to mitigate impacts on transportation and support the provincewide response and recovery. We’ve requested federal assistance and Canadian Air Force assets are already operational, with more resources on the way. Emergency Support Services and Search and Rescue teams are providing emergency shelter, food and other supports to thousands of evacuees and stranded travellers. The B.C. Wildfire service has also been supporting efforts to rescue people and clear roads. The Ministry of Agriculture is working directly with farmers and farmers associations to help in any way possible, including using helicopters to drop containers with food and water for animals on farms that have been cut off.

I want to reassure everyone that our supplies of food and goods are secure. There may be temporary disruptions, but we are working quickly to re-route shipments through alternate routes to ensure people can get the essential supplies they need. You can play a role by shopping as you normally would, and buying only what you need. Remember, your neighbours need supplies too!

I know the last few days have been difficult, but the most important thing we can all do right now is to remain calm and follow instructions from emergency personnel and experts. Right now, we are asking people to refrain from non-essential travel.

Here are some links that can help you stay informed and safe:Before travelling check road closures, re-openings, and the status of repairs at DriveBC.caDisaster financial assistance is available for those affected by flooding. See more info here.See all current evacuation orders, alerts, and list of reception centres at emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca.People who have evacuated and need assistance should register with Emergency Support Services.For businesses who were impacted by flooding, find support and resources here.To donate funds or supplies to relief efforts, please contact donations@gov.bc.ca.If you are a veterinarian or know a veterinarian who wants to assist farmers and ranchers whose animals have suffered from these weather events, please contact my office and we will connect you with the relevant staff at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries.I want to recognize and thank all of the British Columbians who have stepped up during this time to help each other. It’s times like these when British Columbians’ sense of community shines through and we work to get through this together.

If you have any questions or concerns about any provincial issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help you. My office can be reached at  250-472-8528 or Murray.Rankin.MLA@leg.bc.ca. 
Murray at the MinistryEarlier this month, I was happy to reaffirm our Government’s commitment to building our relationship with the Métis Nation of BC and working towards Métis self-determination through the signing of a letter of intent between our Government and MNBC.I was honoured to recently visit the shíshálh Nation and announce the Government’s return of almost 250 acres of land to the Nation. I am proud to have taken this step in our relationship with the shíshálh Nation and to continue to work alongside them towards reconciliation.Community NewsI was so pleased to see Marion Buller appointed chancellor at the University of Victoria. Marion has long been a trailblazer, as the first Indigenous woman judge appointed in BC. Her work as Chief Commissioner for the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls made a real difference across Canada, and her long legal career has been remarkable. This is a wonderful appointment for UVic and our community!The University of Victoria tied for the #1 spot for Canada’s best comprehensive universities! I’m so proud to have UVic in my constituency, and to have maintained connections there since my time as a faculty member. Well-deserved recognition for the whole UVic community!I was fascinated by the story I recently read of Safaa Naeman, a refugee from Syria whose catering business took off on Facebook, thanks to community groups like Oak Bay Local. I truly inspiring individual, I look forward to seeing Safaa’s business grow!Recent Government NewsThrough a $2 million investment in creating the Refugee Readiness Fund, we’re providing support to welcome Afghan refugees arriving in communities across BC and ensuring they can receive counselling, career guidance, and more assistance to help them as they settle in BC.We know addiction touches so many lives in our community and across BC. It’s important we treat this issue as one of public health, not criminality. That’s why BC has applied to decriminalize possession of small amounts of drugs, so we can reduce overdose deaths and so people dealing with addiction can get the care they need.We’re doubling our support for arts and culture spaces through the Arts Infrastructure Program. This means arts and culture organizations will have money dedicated to support infrastructure, safety, and accessibility improvements through their recovery.We know that the current oil and gas royalty system is outdated and inefficient, we recently released our royalty review discussion paper, and began our work consulting with people across BC to inform how we change this system to better align with our climate and economic goals. We’re inviting the public, industry representatives, and First Nations across BC to share their thoughts – consultation is open until Dec 10, 2021

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