Healthcare, community and volunteers
This month, we celebrate the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Month. The donations collected by the Canadian Cancer Society with the sale of live Daffodils and Daffodil pins will support their work to eradicate cancer and improve awareness of the impact of cancer on diagnosed individuals and their families.
British Columbia has some of the best cancer survival rates in the world. According to the latest statistics made available by the Canadian Cancer Society, British Columbian men and women have the:
· lowest overall mortality rate for all cancers in Canada;
· lowest overall incidence rate of cancer in the country;
· lowest incidence rate for colorectal cancers; and
· among the best survival rates for breast cancer in Canada.
Government continues to invest in cancer care. To support patients, no matter where they live in the province, British Columbia now has six BC Cancer Agency centres providing assessment and diagnostic services, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and supportive care.
In addition to great care, government recognizes the importance of early detection. The BC Cancer Agency provides comprehensive cancer screening programs such as the screening mammography program, the cervical cancer screening program and the new colorectal cancer screening program.
Government will continue to invest in cancer care and screening programs and will also continue to promote healthy lifestyle choices, as we know that maintaining a healthy weight, keeping active, eating healthy foods, reducing alcohol consumption and not smoking dramatically decreases the risk of many cancers.
As part of the Healthy Families BC program, government helps to support clinical services at three integrated InspireHealth cancer centres in Victoria, Vancouver, and Kelowna, as well as an online centre.
InspireHealth centres offer support with healthy diet changes, stress reduction, counseling, decision making, exercise, immune system support, personal coaching and vitamins and supplements and works closely with each patient’s doctor and oncologist.
I am proud of the Province’s efforts on cancer prevention, management and treatment and I urge all British Columbians to help show cancer patients that they are not alone by participating in Daffodil month and wearing a bright yellow Daffodil pin.
April is also the time we give special recognition to the Volunteers that make our Communities such wonderful places to live. We are a Country of Volunteers with almost 50 per cent of all Canadians doing some volunteering. People under 35 volunteer more often but it is our Seniors who dedicate the most hours to volunteering- 400 hours a year.
I have had the privilege of attending Volunteer Appreciation Events in both Oliver and Osoyoos and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the South Okanagan Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop, Gagan Ganger and Brita Park from Oliver and the Splash Park Committee, the Osoyoos Sailing Club, the Special Oympics Committee and Maureen Olsen from Osoyoos. The enjoyment of our way of life has come to depend on the time given (without pay) of countless hours of Volunteering that touch all of us every day. Thank-you to all Volunteers everywhere who give so much time to your communities.
It was a special treat for me to be able to see the 232 Bighorn Air Cadets in the Legislature in Victoria. Thanks to Amy and the Leaders for making the effort to come to the Legislature for a Tour.
In the true spirit of Volunteerism and cooperation the Town of Midway, the Kettle Valley Lions Club and local, Regional and Provincial governments (grant from BC Lotteries) joined with volunteers to do phase-one in the creation of Fire Protection service for Rock Creek. Special thanks to Walter Osellame, Vlodko Barchuk, Bill Baird, Randy Kappes and the Kettle Valley Lions Club for all their hard work.