Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

Looking back at an eventful year

Lorne Doerkson reflects on his first year as MLA

Just a little more than a year ago, I became your MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.

The learning curve for a brand new MLA is significant under normal circumstances, but it has been even more intense given the events of the past year. In 2021, we experienced COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin, including in Cariboo Memorial Hospital. We saw flooding in the spring and then of course horrendous wildfires across the region, and particularly the South Cariboo, this past summer.

Just recently we witnessed devastating heavy rains destroy infrastructure around B.C., flooding cities like Abbotsford and Merritt, and leading to highway closures that cut the Cariboo and other parts of the Interior off from southern B.C.

Throughout all this, I have tried at every moment to bring you up-to-date information and have advocated for so many people stuck in the cracks of the system – from families in need to businesses on the point of insolvency. I have advocated for people, trappers and ranchers who lost so much in the wildfires and called for improvements to the roads to Dog Creek, Tatla and so many more.

Despite this year’s challenges, we have done our best to meet the needs of the people of the Cariboo, and I will continue to fight to ensure no one is lost in the system.

My work this year also included approaching government about funding for festivals, events and groups that celebrate the heritage of our region, as well as delivering hundreds of letters and speaking on numerous issues in the Legislature to ensure the voices of Cariboo residents are heard in Victoria.

My offices in both Williams Lake and 100 Mile House have been extremely busy. During the past year, we have built a strong team, including my wonderful constituency assistants Jenny Huffman and Bev Marks who process an unbelievable amount of work. Along with them, are my Legislative Assistant Hannah Levett and my Communications Officer Abigail Uher, who have been instrumental in helping to convey both your messages and mine this past year.

Team Cariboo Chilcotin is for certain at your service. I am grateful that you have given me the opportunity to represent this region, grateful that you have been patient as I learn this new role and grateful for your support and help as we all navigate some of the most challenging times any of us have ever lived through.

Happy New Year and bring on 2022!

100 Mile House