We live in a region that is so diverse and so unique that newcomers have difficulty taking it all in at once.
This probably explains why the NDP government struggles to understand — or even care about the issues we face.
And the most notable of all is flooding.
The flooding we continue to experience this spring is unlike any we have seen in recent memory.
One resident couple called me to their home to see firsthand how devastating a flood can be at a human level. Their dream home that had never experienced flooding before is now unlivable.
The family has no choice but to move.
The intense wildfires from previous years have left their mark too. Scorched earth and deforested lands absorb less water, creating more and more intense floods.
As climate change intensifies, so too will the impacts on our region. Wildfire seasons will worsen in intensity, causing even more severe flooding.
Yet our residents are strong, resilient, and meeting this challenge head-on.
Local governments in our region meet frequently, and community leaders are ready and willing to address this issue with the very same magnitude our people have at heart. However, the one thing we so desperately need is the support of the provincial government.
I’m not talking about the frontline workers and contractors that are on the ground — day or night — trying to fix the roads, stop the flooding or restore the power.
No, I am talking about Premier Horgan and his provincial government. Right now I continually seek meetings with various ministers in Victoria, just trying to shed light on the issue. But so far, I’ve had little engagement from his government.
It is unacceptable to be ignored.
It sends a direct message that the British Columbians living in Cariboo-Chilcotin don’t matter. The government must provide quick relief to the citizens whose homes are being destroyed, who are being displaced, and who are facing the insurmountable challenge of floods in the spring.
My thoughts are with those who have been affected and displaced by the flooding. Please know that I and my colleagues at the Legislature — under the leadership of our Interim Leader, Prince George MLA-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond — are doing everything we can to convince Premier Horgan to finally visit the region and see the damage unfold with his own eyes.