Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson

South Cariboo prepares to welcome tourism season

MLA Lorne Doerkson’s column to the Free Press

After a long, cold spring, many of us are relieved to see the start of June. We’re looking forward to summertime, the warmer weather and many opportunities the season brings. For me, the summer season always reminds me how thankful I am to live in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

We get to live in an extraordinarily beautiful region that has no shortage of incredible recreation and tourism spots. Right here in 100 Mile House, surrounded by numerous provincial parks with stunning hikes, as well as beautiful lakes and rivers that provide some of the best fishing and camping in the province.

This season we also have a packed community calendar, with dozens of events scheduled to take place, each one enriching our community and bringing people together.

From local farmers’ markets like those in Forest Grove and the 108 Mile Heritage Site, to Cariboo Blues concerts, the Hot July Nights Car and Bike Show, or even the nearby Interlakes and Williams Lake stampedes, over the next few months there will be a diverse array of events with something that appeals to everyone.

As such, this summer I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to be a tourist right here at home — to spend some time exploring more of our community and taking advantage of this wonderful place we get to call home.

Maybe take a scenic drive and explore the Fishing Highway, or perhaps visit the 108 Mile Heritage Site to learn some of the history of the area, including the days of the Cariboo Gold Rush. Just a few hours away are dozens of lakes to visit, like Canim Lake, Green Lake, and Mahood Lake, as well as so many others, which are all excellent places for camping, fishing and other outdoor activities.

After a difficult few years, our tourism, arts and culture sector is working to get back to normal, aided by the support of our communities. This year marks the return of many events that have been on hold for years and we are so glad to see them start up once again. However, even as events resume and sites reopen, many tourism operators and events are still struggling to get by.

Over the next few months, I am sure we will all do our part to support local businesses, events and tourism operators, but I hope that our NDP government also takes note and supports tourism throughout B.C. It’s not enough for our government to prioritize cultural investments in the Premier’s own backyard while failing to support tourism in every corner of the province.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin has so much to offer, and we deserve a government that recognizes it.

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