I am inspired every day by the incredible groups who work together to tackle Cowichan’s many challenges and needs.

We give voice to a wide variety of issues, including watershed protection, child wellness, infrastructure upgrades for health and education, and First Nations’ leadership support.

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Question Period: Water Quality in Shawnigan Lake

Today in Question Period, I asked the Minister of Health if the Provincial Health Officer has investigated the source of increased lead levels in drinking water along Stebbings Road and Goldstream Heights Road, and whether his ministry will take action to identify risks the contaminated soils sites have on drinking water in the Shawnigan watershed. …

Introduction: Fostering Change

It was a pleasure to introduce youth from Fostering Change, who are advocating for comprehensive agreements for young adults who were in the foster care system. I was moved by their request to be lifted up in the same way their peers are lifted up by their parents

Question Period: Climate Risk Assessment Report

Today in Question Period I asked the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy why the NDP government did not communicate the contents of a climate risk assessment report that was released this past summer, and how his ministry is working with FLNRORD ministry to ensure forests in the future will mitigae climate change effects …

Question Period: Shawnigan Soil Dump Closure Plan

Today, I asked the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy how many of the conditions in the closure plan have been met, and if the minister has any expectation that the work would be completed by his deadline. Hansard Transcript S. Furstenau: Yesterday I asked the Minister of Energy and Mines about the order …

Question Period: Shawnigan Soil Removal

Today in Question Period, I asked the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources if the company responded to the order that her ministry issued, and if the soil been removed from the site, as ordered. Hansard Transcript S. Furstenau: On May 14, the Ministry of Energy and Mines issued an order to South Island …

Letter from Minister Fleming: Consent and Sexual Health

In June, I sent a letter to Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, asking him to consider making education about consent a part of the curriculum for all grades. He replied with the letter below. 

Reflections on a summer of work

As the kids get ready to go back to school, and the fall legislative session approaches, I am reflecting on my work over the summer and ahead in the Legislature and in Cowichan. Here are a few updates from the last little while. The Cowichan River and the Weir An end-of summer announcement of funding …

A Question of Priorities

Hearing the news that the Minister of Environment planned to accept the closure plan for the contaminated landfill in Shawnigan’s watershed was like a physical blow.  “I think I have post-traumatic stress,” I said to my husband.  I expect many people in the community will feel the same way. At the heart of that stress …

Taking Down Walls

At a conference I attended last week, when Andrea Lyall asked a room full of foresters what reconciliation meant to them, one former chief said, “The wall that surrounds our Indigenous communities is like the wall that was between East and West Germany. The only way that wall came down was people from both sides …

A question for the Premier about Shawnigan Lake

On the last day of the Spring 2019 session, I had the opportunity to ask the Premier about his commitment to protecting drinking water in Shawnigan Lake. Hansard transcript S. Furstenau: The Premier in the past represented the people of Shawnigan and over the years was a true ally in our efforts to protect our …

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