Friday, May 25, 2018

Spring 2018 Constituency Report

Dear Constituents of Saanich South, 

Here is the digital version of my Spring 2018 Constituency Report! Click on the 'full screen' icon to view a large version. The purpose of this document is to report out to constituents on my recent work in Saanich South. I've also included a calendar of just some of the amazing upcoming events in and around Saanich South, as well as information about my Community Office Open House on June 5th!

Printed versions were also included in the Friday, May 25th edition of the Saanich News, and hard copies are available from my community office at 4243 Glanford Avenue, Unit 260. 



Cheers, Lana 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Saanich South residents to benefit from new hip and knee program

Just in case you missed it, I wanted to share some good news from the Ministry of Health: Saanich South residents are set to benefit from our government’s new surgical strategy!
New operating room resources – including a dedicated operating room at the Royal Jubilee Hospital – will significantly increase the number of hip and knee surgeries completed on the South Island each year.
It’s no secret that Saanich South residents are an active bunch: from enjoying the trails at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park to biking the Lochside Trail or even working in the garden, being stuck on a surgery wait list can definitely impact one’s ability to enjoy a healthy and active life.
That’s why I’m so pleased that the new South Island program will result in an additional 800 surgeries for 2018-2019, with the total number increasing to around 2,400! This will significantly reduce the number of South Island patients waiting for hip and knee replacements, contributing to a greater quality of life for many.
What’s even better news is that the new South Island program is just one part of the government’s broader surgical strategy. Our government will continue to tackle surgeries with long wait times, while also ensuring that surgical programs and operating rooms are both properly staffed and run more efficiently to increase the amount of patients that can be seen.
As one of my staff remarked, hip and knee surgeries are something you don’t realize the importance of until you “knee-d” one for yourself. Not the best pun, to be sure – but some pretty good news overall for Saanich South residents.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Micro-Actions, Big Results.


*MLA’s note* I’m so happy to introduce Laska ParĂ©! Laska is one of our amazing constituents in Saanich South, and over the coming months she’ll be writing a series of guest blog posts to provide tips on small changes we can make in our day-to-day lives to encourage us to live more sustainably. Read on below to find out more! -Lana 

Climate change: it’s in the news almost daily as the most pressing issue of our time. Yet for such an important issue it can feel out of grasp for most individuals. How can we engage or influence something we cannot see or feel? And while some regions of the world bear the brunt of climate change (think: submerged Solomon Islands in the Pacific), if we don’t see much change in our local climate, how much will it really impact our lives?

Climate is not seen outside the window – it’s not the weather. It’s a collection of data and patterns presented in a statistical construct. This can make it challenging to talk about a changing climate system; we have to realize that we’re not dealing with something tangible.
So how can ‘we’, regular people living our lives, take action and do something about this obscure ‘thing’?

Every day we make millions of micro-actions, the small, easy (sometimes unconscious) decisions that over time amount to real world impacts. What if we consciously decided to adopt micro-actions that would support sustainable practices? Imagine if you walked or biked instead of bussed or drove to work? What if you stopped purchasing products that came with additional packaging?
These micro-actions are small, but over time they become the data and patterns that build up the ‘statistical construct’ that is our global climate.

Decades from now, when your children or grandchildren ask, ‘Did you know about climate change?’ consider you want your answer to be: “Yes, and here are the micro-actions I took to help.”

Micro-actions for May

The first step in becoming more aware of your waste is to investigate yourself. One of the easiest ways to do this is by actually looking at your garbage and recycling. The next time you’re rolling the bin to the curb or carrying that blue box to the roadside for pick up pause, look at your waste, then ask yourself, “Can I eliminate one thing to lighten this load?”

A common household item often placed in the garbage are toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Empty toilet paper rolls often never make it into recycling bins because they get mixed with garbage. Make it easier to recycle these tubes by placing a small recycling bin in your bathroom; or why not ditch the bathroom trash can all together? Most bathroom bins are filled with items that can be composted, like hair, nail clippings and tissues. Having a bin supports the idea of bathroom trash. Try supporting a new narrative: no bin, no waste. Experiment for a week and see what happens. You might realize how unnecessary it is…

***Note: In the CRD, paper towel and toilet paper rolls go into the blue bag (along with other paper products)

- Laska 











Thursday, May 3, 2018


A 100th Birthday Party to Remember!!!

I was so excited to attend the Saanich Observatory’s centennial celebration today!  

100 years is an incredible milestone, but what makes it even more special is the story of how it all began.
Construction of the observatory began in 1914 under the leadership of Canada’s top astronomer of the day, John Stanley Plaskett.  
Two years later, the site was ready for the telescope’s 9.5-tonne polar axis. It took 12 draft horses a day and a half to cart it to the top. The final piece needed was an enormous Belgian-cast glass mirror that was carefully turned on its side and rolled like a dime into the Observatory. There it was silvered and mounted in place and the observatory captured its first images on May 6, 1918.
This Sunday will be the anniversary of the first day data was received from space by this amazing piece of equipment. 
It may surprise you that this old telescope is still used today for cutting-edge scientific work. A state-of-the-art digital back-end is now strapped to its enormous mirrored eye, making it 10,000 times more sensitive than when first built.
Mr. Plaskett obviously believed in the importance of science, but he also firmly believed that public access to science was just as important.  
For over a decade, the federal government funded excellent public-outreach efforts at the observatory. In 2001, it built an interpretive centre, the Centre of the Universe, and invested in public outreach.
That investment led to many activities, including public Saturday night star viewings, sci-fi movies projected on the side of the observatory, regular busloads of people on heritage and tourist visits, intensive youth summer camps and tens of thousands of public visits and school class trips.
Many children benefited enormously from witnessing high-level science in action and learning about the universe from top NRC staff and scientists. Many young people have been inspired to pursue the sciences from their experiences at the Saanich Observatory.
All of this outreach came to a crashing halt with an announcement by the federal government that, for the first time in its history, there would be no public access to the Saanich Observatory. 
The change was described by the government as a cost-saving measure, even though the expense was a minuscule 0.02 per cent of the $950-million NRC budget.
But the story didn’t end there!
Thankfully, our community came together and rallied to save this gem of an institution. My non-partisan community office worked with local educators and community leaders, heritage experts, UVIC professors and members of the public over many months to restore public access to the Centre of the Universe. 
The abrupt closure had an unintended consequence: it sparked thousands of people to learn about what they were losing and they soon came together to push for a better outcome. Media coverage of the impending closure led almost 1,000 people to try to visit on the final public night — and almost every one of them signed a petition calling for funding of public access to be restored.
When you wish upon a star in Saanich it seems that dreams really do come true! In 2014 Volunteers with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) began setting up their telescopes for public gazing throughout the summer, and there were public tours of the Observatory itself. Momentum started to build and an organization called Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory Society, a non-profit, was formed and from there we have seen amazing things happen!  
To this day, I am amazed – and exceedingly grateful – to our entire community for their efforts to re-open the Observatory for everyone to enjoy. 
I’ll soon be announcing more details about an event I’m holding to celebrate 100 years of space science in Saanich! 
Continue to watch my blog for more updates, but it will involve my new community office, the Observatory, local Saanich South artists, and of course, local food!  
In the meantime, I would encourage all community members to visit the Centre of the Universe for themselves. The Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (FDAO) and RASC Victoria Centre are hosting twenty Saturday evenings at the DAO, featuring guest speakers, solar and nighttime observing with telescopes provided by RASC Victoria Centre volunteers, tours of the historic Plaskett telescope, and more! 
Rain or shine, they will have something for everyone. More information about the Saturday Star Parties is available here , https://thecentreoftheuniverse.net/star-parties and you can reserve your tickets (which are totally free!) 
After a fantastic first 100 years, I can’t wait to see what the next century will bring! ​
Happy 100th Birthday to the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory! 
P.S. Here is a video link from 2013, the last night of public access....or so we thought! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

We've Moved!


We have moved! 

We've officially opened our brand new constituency office and we are open for business! 




260-4243 Glanford Ave
Victoria, BC
V8Z 4B9

Our hours are:

Monday - Thursday 9am-4pm
Fridays by appointment only


Monday, February 5, 2018

Looking for your Feedback on the Revitalization of the ALR and ALC


Here is a fantastic update on our advisory committee regarding the revitalization of the ALR and ALC! The committee has released its consultation paper and is seeking opinions and feedback.

The opportunity for British Columbians to participate in the public engagement on revitalization of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) is now open. The paper and online survey focus on collecting opinions and views on 10 common themes:

1.       A defensible and defended ALR

2.       ALR resilience

3.       Stable governance

4.       Efficacy of Zones 1 and 2

5.       Interpretation and implementation of the act and regulation

6.       Food security and B.C.’s agricultural contribution

7.       Residential uses in the ALR

8.       Farm processing and sales in the ALR

9.       Unauthorized uses

10.   Non-farm uses and resource extraction in the ALR

This committee will also be hosting regional stakeholder meetings with invited representatives to hear directly from the local farming and ranching communities and organizations in Abbotsford, Cranbrook, Fort St. John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Quesnel and Richmond.

Please take the time to participate in the public engagement online or contribute feedback through email and mail submissions. For more information, please visit: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/agriculturallandreserve