Linda Larson – local MLA says the change of government won’t affect her on-the-ground hard work philosophy of serving those that live in the riding.
How will that be done? Larson says all opposition MLA’s will have to adapt to the new circumstance but first and foremost – her relationship with government ministry staff is good and that is the first point of reference in getting things done.
The four ministries she is most interested in Education, Health, Ministry of Transport/Infrastructure and Forests Lands & Resources. Most of her work and contact is with these ministries.
Larson says her work with developing a rural school policy is complete and the report is now in the hands of the Ministry of Education and has not been released to the public. She will fight for the adoption of recommendations that support rural schools.
In the South Okanagan – a lot of concern about the local hospital. Larson thinks the residents are well served by a great facility. She does not share the concerns of many in how the emergency ward is staffed and says sometimes (rarely she hopes) the overnight service will not be there but the paramedics do a great job in transporting those in need to the regional hospital in Penticton. Nurse Practitioners – more – yes but the supply in BC is limited. Larson says local doctors doing the best they can forming a committee with all stakeholders to improve the staffing system.
The Boundary Similkameen MLA asked about the fire situation in her riding and why the army is not that visible. Larson says she has been advised that the federal government is supplying logistical support with army personnel on the ground providing security and some direct help to firefighters. She had high praise for all levels of government in how they are handling the evacuations and those affected including animals and pets.
Once the fire season is over Larson wants to see RDOS staff come up with a plan to prevent severe impacts from creek flooding in the South Okanagan. Larson says the fire of 2015 left many hills and mountain tops without much vegetation to retain the rain. More work and a good plan is needed she says to provide safety for orchardists, water suppliers, homes and businesses. This will be a file she wants to see looked after in the next year.