COLUMN: Busy spring at the B.C. legislature

Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall writes about her government’s work so far in 2019

I hope you enjoyed your Canada Day long weekend and the wonderful celebrations our region puts on to commemorate our country’s birthday. As Canadians, we have the ability to meet major challenges, test our mettle and come through better than ever. And in doing so, we often show global leadership in our own polite, Canadian way — certainly something worth celebrating.

Major challenges that your B.C. government has been working on this spring include: reconciliation with Indigenous peoples; taking action on global climate change with our CleanBC plan; housing affordability; reducing disease outbreaks with increased vaccinations; uncovering the extent of money laundering in B.C.; and continuing to build a universal childcare program. And we just started the conversation on ending daylight savings time.

As your MLA, I’m very proud of the work we are doing two years into our term. I’m also very proud of the work my ministry is doing, particularly in bringing about the switch from gas-powered cars to zero-emission vehicles.

This spring my team and I worked on developing and passing legislation that will require all new light-duty vehicles (mostly personal cars) sold be zero emission vehicles by 2040. B.C. is well on track to meet this target and put a major dent in our our greenhouse gas emissions, in part because of our rebates. Right now, you can get up to $3,000 from the B.C. government when buying a new zero emission car like the Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf. Give my office a call 1-877-388-4498 to learn more.

However, there is one challenge that I and only three other BC women MLAs before me have had, and many of you stop to ask me about it. That’s having a baby while in office. I won’t mince words, it has been a physical challenge that, like many first time moms, I under-appreciated until I had a chance to reflect.

That said, I am grateful that I didn’t have the added challenge of having to fight my workplace to meet my and my son’s needs. We’ve benefited from the women and their babies that came before us so much so that when it came time for the Legislative Assembly to make further adjustments for Zavier and I, they did so enthusiastically. Whether it was baby proofing my ministry office or allowing babies into the House where we debate and vote, everyone supportively welcomed Zavier.

In the process they helped to make our democratic institution more inclusive, which yields a better democracy. In saying thank you to my colleagues from all parties and corners of B.C.’s legislature, Zavier had a few points he wanted to make too. To watch, visit my MLA Facebook page at: http://bit.ly/Mungallthanks

I hope you have a wonderful summer with family and friends, enjoying all that the Kootenays have to offer.

Michelle Mungall is MLA for Nelson-Creston as well as Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.

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