Happy 2021! I hope it is a good year for the emotional and physical health of everyone.
The pandemic continues to take a toll on many, and I share our collective sadness over the losses we’re all experiencing. As British Columbians we have shown our ability to persevere through difficult times while learning and adapting quickly to the science and evidence as it evolved.
I hope everyone has had an opportunity to celebrate the holiday season, and that we all find success and comfort in what we do in 2021. For those who have been separated from their places of comfort, through pandemic, illness, loss, incarceration, poverty, or violence, and for those who care for them, I hope optimism accompanies the welcoming of a new year.
It is my privilege to represent the constituency of Powell River-Sunshine Coast in beautiful Coast Salish territory. I am honoured to bring a voice to the provincial legislature to reflect the diverse priorities of Sunshine Coast residents, and to promote policies that reflect responsible government decisions. I did so with success as a member of the opposition since 2005, and look forward to continuing to do so as a member of cabinet.
I am honoured to have been appointed minister of social development and poverty reduction to take on this task during a particularly difficult time. It is always important, and noticeably more important now than ever, to make sure people living in poverty have access to supports, programs and services in their communities. I am aware of the importance of providing children with access to quality care and education, and I am passionate about the need to ensure their success is supported in all the family circumstances children find themselves.
Thank you to everyone who has worked hard to make sure our communities can come through the pandemic remaining as strong as possible: our health-care workers, our frontline workers, our teachers, our neighbours, our elected officials, our friends and our families. There are so many reasons to have confidence in our system of governance, of the importance of public health, in public servants who do a wonderful job to keep our province running, and in each other.