April 15, 2021
Year two, COVID-19 wave three. As I write this, BC’s active cases are approaching last winter’s peak. So, I write again to thank each of you for respecting each other’s health by following provincial and federal Covid-19 protocols.
Public health measures help keep us safe – they also cause stress and isolation. If you or someone you know needs help, there is free, confidential, 24/7 online mental health and substance use support available at WellnessTogetherCanada.ca.
Now that the federal government is massively accelerating the delivery of vaccine doses, some relief may be in sight. Our initial plan of securing 6 million doses by the end of the first quarter (March 31st) was almost doubled, with 11,423,660 doses delivered by April 14. 21% of Canadians have now received at least one dose, placing Canada 3rd among the G20 nations!
Did you miss an MP Brunch Connections?
At this month’s MP Brunch Connections Isobel Mackenzie, BC’s Seniors Advocate, spoke and answered many questions on “What it takes to Age in Place.” For those who couldn’t attend, you can view the recording and in fact, all previous MP Brunch talks, on my website under the Van Quadra tab. While you’re there, check out our 2020 Hidden Heroes to see how fortunate we are to have such amazing people living in our midst.
More about Seniors
Many seniors have questions about federal help during the pandemic and about other issues affecting their daily lives and communities. To help share the latest information, Canada’s Minister of Seniors, the Hon. Deb Schulte, sends out a newsletter twice a month. You are welcome to subscribe here.
Climate Change policies making a difference
On Monday, Environment and Climate Change Canada released its’ annual National Inventory Report on emission trends in Canada covering, emissions data from 1990 to 2019. It’s a way for provincial and federal governments to take stock of Canada’s past emissions trends, and a useful transparency tool for Canadian accountability.
The report shows that, starting in 2018, we were able to rein in the dangerous upwards trajectory of Canada’s past emissions, with policies such as pollution pricing. You can view the executive summary report here.
The Right to a Healthy Environment
As a former provincial environment minister, I was pleased when our government delivered on its commitment to better protect Canadians’ health and environment from toxins, by tabling Bill C-28: Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act.
This Bill enshrines in law our citizens’ right to a healthy environment, and aims to strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), Canada’s cornerstone environmental law. Previously, we took serious steps to protect health and safety under CEPA, including banning asbestos and plastic microbeads. Today, we use more chemicals in our lives and in our economy than ever before, and the Act had not been updated in over 20 years; Bill C-28 does that. Thank you to Dr. David Suzuki, and the David Suzuki Foundation, for rallying support with their Blue Dot Campaign!
Anti-Asian Racism Townhall coming up:
Did you know that in 2020 the number of anti-Asian hate crimes reported in Vancouver increased by a shocking 700%? Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 24th at 3:30 pm for a discussion with UBC History Professor Dr. Henry Yu about why this has happened, what it means for our community and country, and how we can respond. A registration link will be sent soon.
In case you missed it:
- Last week, Minister Maryam Monsef announced Canada/BC joint funding of $4.5 million for Rogers to provide 100% continuous cellular coverage for 252 km along Highway 16 (known as the Highway of Tears). The investment will help make this notorious highway safer for indigenous women in the region.
- Most Vancouver Quadra residents feel strongly about the importance of ensuring clean and safe drinking water for all First Nations communities. I’m pleased to note that as of last month, all long-term drinking water advisories in BC have been lifted! In fact, our government has lifted 105 long-term drinking water advisories – a milestone. In 2016 the target was 105 when we committed to end all long-term drinking water advisories, though more advisories have been added since. You can find our detailed progress report here.
- Do you know about the Healthy Communities Initiative? This timely $31 million investment by the Government of Canada provides grants from $5,000 to $250,000 to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. A second round of applications opens in mid-May (closing June 25th), and you can find out more about this great program at Canada Healthy Communities Initiative – Community Foundations of Canada.
- Jericho Lands Workshops - Design Workshops have been held this past week to help guide the future redevelopment of the site. A Wrap-Up event is scheduled for Monday April 19th from 6-8pm to report on findings. Register for the Wrap-Up Event here.
Thank you for all you do to lift the spirits of others; and I wish you a happy April ‘National Month of Hope’!
The Hon. Joyce Murray, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra
Minister of Digital Government