The MLA for Cariboo North says there are a few things that she will be paying extra attention to heading into 2022.
Coralee Oakes says one of those will be the changing policies around forestry that that the NDP has brought in.
“I delivered a number of speeches in the legislature about A. trying to educate Victoria around how integrated our business model when it comes to forestry and fibre supply utilization is here. And any level of disruption in any part of that business supply model can have some pretty significant consequences.”
Oakes says she has also been talking with a lot of our indigenous and First Nations communities.
“You know the 30 days to come back with comment on old growth deferrals just simply wasn’t long enough. You can’t expect to have significant types of changes without having accurate consultation with people.”
Oakes says another area of concern is with changes to how the government will be addressing children with diverse needs.
“Specifically families are extraordinarily concerned and worried about the changes with how autism funding to families will be delivered and moved to hub model, so we continue to be meeting with parents. They have to be at the heart of decisions that government is making as they know their children best.”
Oakes says changes are also coming to childcare.
“Making sure that the change that the government is making are not seeing communities like ours, where you’ve got small business mom and pop operators who’ve operated important childcare businesses in our community, taken such good care of kids in some cases for a couple of generations, don’t put them out of business because of the changing rules.”
Finally, Oakes says we have to make sure in 2022 that we have a full continuum of care for individuals that struggle with addictions.
“You’ve got to have all the pillars taken care of, and treatment is critical and families shouldn’t have to mortgage everything that they have to have a loved one get access to treatment that has to be timely. And then when people come out of treatment you have to have a solid recovery place to go to and supports in place.
Oakes says while it is also one of the pillars, the focus right now seems to be mostly on the toxic drug supply.
She says it is heartbreaking to the families who have lost loved ones, and I think we’ve got to do more and maybe reflect a little bit on exactly what we are doing.
Oakes says she is grateful to the workers in our healthcare system, but she is also concerned for them going into a new year.
“They’ve been stretched so much for two years and for all of us, I cannot thank everyone at every level of the healthcare system for all of their incredible efforts. And I know that our system is already stretched with staffing and so, for everyone who are picking up extra shifts and trying their best to keep our healthcare system functioning, I am just incredibly grateful. But i’m also incredibly worried about how long we can continue down that path.”
Oakes is also encouraging the elderly to get a booster shot, adding that if you are 65 and older and have not heard back on when you can get one, you can call 1-833-838-2323 to see when you are eligible.
She says people with questions about vaccinations should talk to their physician or to a pharmacist.