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.

Looking for a specific issue of concern?

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 …

A petition about dog breeding

I received a letter from two grade 5 students at École Mount Prevost asking for my support in protecting dogs from improper breeding practices. Their letter was accompanied by a petition signed by many of their schoolmates. Below is the letter I sent to the Minister of Agriculture on their behalf, and what follows is …

Response to the Labour Relations Amendment Act

I spoke to Bill 30, the Labour Relations Amendment Act. I am supportive of the measures in this bill, but we need to recognize that it will take much more than these measures to address the pressing challenge of inequality, which is growing in an era of precarious work. The economy should serve the well-being …

Question Period: NDP support

In Question Period, I asked the premier if the NDP government – as they have publicly stated – still stand against the plan to dump contaminated soil in Shawnigan Lake.

Closure plan for soil disposal site in Shawnigan Lake Watershed

There have been at least three iterations of a closure plan for the contaminated landfill in the Shawnigan drinking watershed: two in 2017 and one just a few months ago.   The company that was hired to complete the original and updated closure plans has not been paid for their work.   To remedy this, …

Response to the Residential Tenancy Amendment Act

I was proud to speak in response to the Residential Tenancy Amendment Act, which was a private members’ bill brought forward by the BC Green caucus. It amends the act to provide tenants with the ability to end a fixed-term lease if staying in a rental unit is a threat to their security.

Questions for the Minister: Shawnigan Soil

In Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources budget estimates debates, I asked the minister about the soil that is stockpiled in Shawnigan Lake’s watershed, on CHH’a Lot 21, adjacent to the contaminated landfill. I also asked about the Talsequah Chief Mine reclamation process, and the plans for how to include First Nations in the updating of …

Question Period: Soil in Shawnigan Lake

Today in Question Period, I asked the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy if the contaminated soil will stay at the headwaters of the Shawnigan Lake drinking watershed or will he order the soil removed.

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