Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Today, I spoke in the Legislature to pay tribute to the Heart of Richmond AIDS Society:

I rise today to dedicate my remarks to two amazing Richmond residents, because in the words of k.d. lang, Joanne and Brian Wardley ‘beautifully combine.’ They have been the heart and soul of the Richmond AIDS Society since its inception.

After 14 years of operation the Heart of Richmond AIDS Society continues to address HIV/AIDS in the community of Richmond by supporting the needs of HIV-positive persons and their family and friends. The creation of the Gilwest Clinic at Richmond Hospital — which provides access to specialists, nurses, pharmacists, counsellors, social workers and a dietician — is a critical achievement which continues to build awareness.

Their prevention education program moved into its fourth year of operation in 2011 and continues to reach young people throughout the Richmond school district. The program also continues to be well received by youth and school staff alike.

Supporting persons with HIV/AIDS and their families and loved ones continues to be a central focus of the society. This past year this support program experienced another solid year of service provision in the areas of counselling, group support, advocacy and food and health care. They have maintained a range of material supports offered to their clients, while their relationships with other health professionals and service providers have deepened.

These connections continue to play an integral role in providing support services to their clients. I have attended their monthly dinners and know how important this outreach is in our community.

The services of the Heart of Richmond endeavour to respond in the most effective manner possible to the impact that HIV and AIDS have on the members of our community. I would like to extend special thanks to everyone who's involved and in particular to the volunteer board member staff for their ongoing dedication to providing these services.

It was my pleasure to attend their gala in November and reconnect with lovely souls who believe in this work. My heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you.

Please visit my website at

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize November as Adoption Awareness Month in British Columbia. Adoption Awareness Month provides us the opportunity to thank adoptive families for opening their hearts and committing their lives to the love and care of a child. It gives us time to recognize the invaluable impact that adopted families have on the lives of children.

Every child deserves to have a family to call their own and a permanent place to call home. Every child deserves the support that a family brings, whether it's someone to help with homework; someone to tuck them in at night; someone to cheer them on at a sporting event or attend their school play; someone to listen to their stories, be proud of them, or a shoulder to cry on when life seems hard.

Every child deserves a glorious childhood.

What I wish for my children is what I wish for every child in the province of British Columbia. Every child and teenager deserves the nurturing affection of a family environment, and more than 1,200 children in government care are still looking for a place to call home, with more than 500 children ready to be adopted today.

I encourage anyone who's interested in the joy that a child can bring to call 1-877-ADOPT-07 or visit the Ministry of Children and Family Development website.

I ask the people of British Columbia to join me in recognizing and celebrating Adoption Awareness Month, the families that adoption creates and how adoption embodies the meaning of putting families first.

Friday, 21 October 2011


Yesterday, I spoke in the Legislature about the Purple Letter Campaign:

"A year ago tonight, people from all over the Lower Mainland gathered in Emery Barnes Park in Vancouver. They wore purple, lit candles and remembered the many people who committed suicide as a result of homophobic bullying.

"The theme last year was inspired by Dan Savage's It Gets Better, a response to a string of suicides related to homophobic bullying. This year, two young activists resolved to make it better.

"Their purple letter campaign seeks to collect personal stories about people's experiences with homophobia in schools, put them in purple envelopes and deliver them to the provincial government and the Ministry of Education.

"For the past three months, Ryan Clayton and Kaitlin Burnett have been travelling around British Columbia speaking in rural and urban communities and connecting with British Columbians, asking them to share their experiences about the realities, positive and negative, of life in British Columbia for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people and their friends, families and supporters.

"Many of these stories have been published on their blog, These stories are incredible, ranging from inspiring to tragic, humorous and powerful to lighthearted and insightful. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage the provincial government to continue working to make sure that gay, lesbian and bisexual and transgendered students are safe in our schools.

"I have a purple letter box in my constituency office, and I will join Ryan and Kaitlin tonight in Emery Barnes Park. Every child deserves to feel safe and respected, and student safety is a top priority. That's why we have established provincial codes of conduct in B.C. schools, and we look forward to continuing to ensure that all types of this bullying approach has been eliminated in all our schools.

"The purple letters are a call to each and every one to make British Columbia the leader against homophobic and transphobic bullying in every part of our province and, frankly, honourable members, in each of our ridings."

Please visit my website at

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Today I spoke in the Legislature about an exciting discovery relating to ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease:

“A team of researchers from the University of British Columbia's Brain Research Centre and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Research Institute have found a key link between prions and the neurodegenerative disease ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

“ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die, resulting in paralysis and death. Approximately 3,000 Canadians live with this fatal disease, for which there's no effective treatment. Every day two or three Canadians die of ALS.

“The discovery is significant, as it opens the door to novel approaches to the treatment of ALS. The findings provide a molecular explanation for the progressive spread of ALS through the nervous system and highlight the central role of the propagation of misfolded proteins in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disease, including ALS, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

“The work has identified a specific molecular target which, when manipulated, halts the conversion of a particular protein to a misfolded, disease-causing form. A protein's failure to adopt the correct structure is what threatens the health of cells.

“This discovery is the first step towards the development of targeted treatments that may stop the progression of ALS.

“I'd like to dedicate my remarks this afternoon to Greg Fraser, a wonderful Richmond teacher who lost his battle to ALS, and to Dr. Neil Cashman and his colleagues in British Columbia and Alberta, for the contributions they have made. They have found a key piece to help guide the research community to solutions, Mr. Speaker, and we are indeed grateful.”

Please visit my website at

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

With Gratitude for Our Teachers

Today, I had the honour of delivering the following two-minute statement in the Legislature to mark World Teachers' Day:

“I rise today to honour World Teachers' Day. I stand before you as a former teacher. It was my absolute pleasure to engage young learners, enjoy their curiosity and be energized by their awareness and their humour.

“I taught children with autism, children with learning disabilities, children with a myriad of interests and pursuits. I wanted the children I taught to see all sides of a question, to seek fairness and to possess tremendous humanity.

“My students are adults today, many of them parenting their own children. It is a joy when they stop by to say hello. I couldn't be more proud of their accomplishments or their achievements.

“The teachers I had the privilege to work with are magical — Max Caroll, Marlene Yurichuk, Bosso Gill and countless others.

“It was my privilege to attend the 45th reunion of David Thompson Secondary on Saturday last. Teachers came out to acknowledge a grad class that they last saw as students in 1966. The memories were fresh. The stories were wonderful. Students and teachers alike shared stories of events that transpired 45 years ago.

“Schools and teachers will always have the ability to inspire future generations.

“It is generational work. Whether it is the teacher I met last year in Cairo or the plethora of international students and teachers that come from across the globe to Richmond, teachers understand that students desire a sense of belonging.

“Schools and teachers assist in building civil societies.

“Thank you to all the teachers across the globe. My daughter wants to be a teacher. She will have wonderful colleagues who today are celebrating World Teachers Day.”

Please visit my website at

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


A group of former Girl Guides, leaders and friends of Guiding have come together to ensure the future of one of British Columbia’s best-loved Guide camps.
 Camp Olave, located on the oceanfront at Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast, celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2010. However, the long-term future of the camp is threatened by the spectre of increasing property taxes on the 56-hectare waterfront property. The current Sechelt municipal council graciously provided a grant in lieu of taxes for the coming year, but cannot guarantee what any future council might do. If full property taxes were demanded, they could be paid only by raising camp fees well beyond the range of the average family, thus denying future generations of guiders access to this amazing oceanfront experience.

The supporters of Camp Olave have concluded the best solution to the problem is to start now an Endowment Fund, the interest from which would cover the taxes should this ever be necessary. If the taxes remain low, as is hoped, the interest would be used to maintain and upgrade the facilities and to provide camperships for girls who would otherwise not be able to afford a week at camp.

The group has started the Camp Olave Endowment Fund under the auspices and management of the Victoria Foundation. It is hoped the fund will grow to about $200,000 to ensure the tax payments would be available if needed.

Over the years, thousands and thousands of girls and young women have enjoyed Camp Olave,  we are hoping many of them will hear about this new fund, and give – a little or a lot – so thousands more girls will be able to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities available at this oceanfront camp over the coming decades.

Anyone interested in donating to the fund should make contributions payable to Camp Olave Endowment Fund and send to the Victoria Foundation at 109 – 645 Fort Street, Victoria, BC V8V 1G2, or make an online gift by going to the website: and click on the red Make a Donation button located in the upper right hand corner.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Do You Want to Connect?

Community gaming grants provided by the Province of BC are a very important part of what makes so many non-profit events and services possible. Everything from youth sporting events and community fairs, to art exhibits and extra-curricular school activities, may be eligible for funding from the Province.

On July 28 it was announced by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development that BC's Community Gaming Grant Review team, led by independent reviewer Skip Triplett, will visit 14 different communities across the province between August 11 and September 7 to hear from British Columbians and examine the role of government in allocating gaming funds.

The team is looking to discover more about how we can improve things such as the application process, criteria and eligibility, existing legislation governing gaming grants, and the future role of government in providing grants.

Submissions can be mailed, faxed, submitted online, or presented at one of the community forums. Anyone interested in participating in this exercise is encouraged to register online as space is limited.

Triplett's final report is due on October 31, 2011.

You can register to attend a community forum, submit ideas, and learn more at:

Friday, 22 July 2011

The Gift of Literacy

On Monday, Premier Christy Clark awarded the 2011 Council of the Federation Literacy Award to Dee McRae. This award recognizes Dee's outstanding efforts to improve adult literacy in her home town of Houston, B.C. – and beyond.

One million adults in our province have challenges with literacy. Dee is one of many in B.C. who are working to bring this number down. Her years of hard work and dedication have significantly improved the lives of many people, giving them confidence and the ability to reach their potential.

Since 2001, the Province has invested approximately $1.5 billion in literacy and literacy-related initiatives, such as StrongStart BC early learning programs. The programs this funding makes possible are vital.

But so are the contributions of people like Dee McRae and many others like her throughout the province who give of their time, energy and passion to help others who need to improve their levels of literacy.

Perhaps you might like to make such a difference. If so, please contact Literacy BC at 1-800-663-1293 or email to find out how.

Monday, 11 July 2011

July Newsletter

Thank you to the constituents of Richmond East for the trust you have placed in me over these twenty years of public service.  There is no other work I would rather be doing.  I consider it both an honour and a privilege to live and work with you in this riding.
It was a joy for me to be present at the opening of the newly enlarged Hamilton Community Centre.  This is a great addition to a wonderful Richmond East neighbourhood.  Thank you to all who made it possible.  I especially enjoyed the fact that the Legislative channel was playing on the small TV’s on each of the treadmills.

I had the opportunity to represent our government at the July 4th announcement of the partnership between Genome BC and the BC Cancer Foundation.  Both organizations are focused on the potential of genomics to improve patient outcomes.  Genome BC is funding three applied genomic research projects totaling 9 million so that the clinical tools we do have are better able to treat each patient’s individual cancer.  This is good news for patients and their families.

I look forward to the summer opening of the new Nelson Road Interchange which we can all see taking shape in East Richmond.  This new infrastructure will redirect container truck traffic off Westminster Highway and directly into the Port via Nelson Road from the Alderbridge Connector -  a win for farmers and residents alike.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer with family and friends.

Linda Reid MLA Richmond East and Deputy Speaker

July 2011

Friday, 8 July 2011

HST Helps the Whole Country

We have lost sight of one important point in the debate over the fate of the HST here in British Columbia. It is good for Canada as a whole.

Here is something well worth reading:
“Provincial retail sales taxes (RSTs) are outdated and inefficient. They impose a significant tax burden on new business investment and increase the day-today operating costs of Canadian businesses. Unlike the Goods and Services Tax (GST), under which businesses receive a credit for the sales tax they pay on their inputs, these costs are subsequently embedded in the prices consumers pay for goods and services."

- Government of Canada, Budget 2009: Canada's Economic Action Plan

People wanting to invest in Canada and do business here should not have to struggle with a myriad of different sales tax systems, varying from province to province.

Monday, 4 July 2011

The Potential of Genomics

This morning it was my pleasure to represent our government at the announcement of the partnership between Genome BC and the BC Cancer Agency. Both organizations are focused on the potential of genomics to improve patient outcomes. Genome BC is funding three applied genomic research projects totalling 9 million so that the clinical tools we have are better able to treat each patients's individual cancer. This is good news for patients and their families. Special guest included Sindi Hawkin's sister Rupie and Sindi's Dad. Rupie spoke beautifully of her sisters' contribution to cancer care in our province.  I will be there when the Cancer Care Center for the Southern Interior carries the name Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians

I will be honoured to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association 49th Canadian Meeting in mid July in Charlottetown. The Honourable Kathleen Casey is the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island and she will be our host during the deliberations. She has been a glorious mentor to me over my time serving as Deputy Speaker in British Columbia. The discussions are fascinating from a procedural perspective - how each jursidiction in the commonwealth grapples with particular issues will continue to be the focus/challenge of maintaining order in our respective jurisdictions. The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians will be seeking resolution on a number of topics that make "cities fit for girls and women." There is much work to do.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Child Care Month

Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased to rise today to recognize Child Care Month – May – and Child Care Provider Appreciation Day – May 19th.

Just this morning, I attended the Child Care Awards of Excellence in Vancouver. This event honoured not just child care professionals from across B.C., but also organizations and local governments – including the District of West Vancouver and, I’m very proud to say, the City of Richmond – for outstanding service to children and families. It’s wonderful to see communities being recognized – because I firmly believe that strong, supportive and engaged communities are a key to creating a quality child care system that meets the needs of local families.

We have a range of child care options in B.C., which are often tailored to meet the unique needs of the children and families they serve: young parents still in school, Aboriginal children and families, and children with special needs to name a couple examples. I’m proud that this government has supported early learning and child care for many years, knowing the incredible difference it makes in the lives of children.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the members of the House join me in recognizing and celebrating Child Care Month. And, to our thousands of amazing child care professionals I say ‘thank you’ for the work you do every day to help our little ones learn and grow and blossom – and for the peace of mind you bring to thousands of parents.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

24th Annual Down Syndrome Conference

It was my absolute pleasure to welcome the delegates to Richmond and the 24th Annual Down Syndrome Conference which opened at the Delta Airport Hotel on May 20. The following is an excerpt from my speech: 'Communication and socialization are necessary. Children need to be able to communiate their wishes and desires to their peers. We are designed to interact. We may not always know the best ways to proceed or the best ways to elicit those behaviours but I pay tribute to researchers everywhere who are refining our practices with their insights. The Down Syndrome Research Foundation here in BC has taught me much about the horizon. The future is bright. It is a good time to be born. Thank you for all the fine work you do, both as parents and professionals. It has given me great joy to be with you this morning.'

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Cystic Fibrosis

My Statement in the Legislature on May 18, 2011:

Mr. Speaker, for thousands of people living in communities throughout Canada, Cystic Fibrosis is very much a reality. Cystic Fibrosis is the most common, fatal generic disease affecting young Canadians today. While the vast majority of us take simple acts such as breathing for granted, most of those living with Cystic Fibrosis must undergo hours of physical and inhalation therapy each and every day. This is just one of the many physical hardships facing those living with the disease, Mr. Speaker, and it is why May has been declared Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month to help bring a greater understanding to those who live with it every day.

There is currently no cure for Cystic Fibrosis. In the 1960s, most children with Cystic Fibrosis did not live long enough to attend kindergarten. Today, half of all Canadians with Cystic Fibrosis are expected to live into their 40s and beyond. This could not have been done without the amazing fundraising efforts sponsored by Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The Great Strides walk, which takes place this month in communities across the county, and Shinerama, where post-secondary students from coast to coast collect donations every September for Cystic Fibrosis research. We must also recognize Kin Canada for their continued support in raising funds and awareness to help combat this disease.

It is through fundraisers and dedicated volunteers such as these that will one day help make CF stand not for Cystic Fibrosis, Mr. Speaker, but for ‘Cure Found.’  Mr. Speaker, it’s time to breathe new life into this disease.

Camp Olave

My Statement in the Legislature on May 17, 2011:

I rise today Mr. Speaker to celebrate Girl guides of Canada's Camp Olave.

Camp Olave is located at Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast and has served young Sparks, Brownies, Guides, Pathfinders, and Rangers an their leaders for the past eighty years. The Camp was previously tax exempt but a municipal boundary change altered their tax status. His Worship Mayor Inkster and his council provided a grant in lieu of taxes owing for this tax year. I am grateful to the council and the to the countless friends of Camp Olave, including the MLA for Powell River Sunshine Coast who did a fabulous job, and girls and guiders, past and present, who embraced safeguarding Camp Olave for future generations.

The motto for guiding is Be Prepared and we are! We are building a Camp Olave Endowment Fund and we would welcome your support. We need to be prepared should a grant in lieu of taxes not be available in the future. Please make contact with the Victoria Foundation and offer your support. Guiding in Canada celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010 and with your support the organization will continue to offer programs of leadership to young women for generations to come.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Cancer Survivor Parks

My Statement in the Legislature on May 9, 2011:

I'd like to dedicate my remarks today to someone I miss each day. Her name is Kathy Hatlen. Cancer Survivors Parks - because "what's outside can help heal what's inside." There are currently 22 cancer survivor parks in North America, a legacy created by Richard and Annette Bloch and their foundation.

The Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivors Park in Ottawa is a public park offering green space for reflection, sculptures, a healing garden with stones of hope, motivation and so much more. This cancer survivors park is the second of its kind in Canada and will offer a place of serenity and inspiration to cancer patients and survivors, their friends and family. I am working for the creation of a third such park in Richmond, British Columbia.

Each park is unique, though they maintain three common elements. In each park there's a sculpture called "Cancer, there is hope," created by the renowned Mexican sculptor Victor Somanes. The piece features eight life-sized figures passing through a maze depicting cancer treatments and successes.

"A positive mental attitude walk." This is an area that visitors can stroll through, meditate and read through 14 plaques which feature inspirational words and suggestions inspired by Richard Bloch.

And a "Road to Recovery," with seven plaques explaining what cancer is and basic actions to assist in recovery — a place of peace and reflection. I hope each of you will have the opportunity one day to visit.

U'mista Cultural Centre and the Power of Giving

My Statement in the Legislature on May 3, 2011:

Life is not just about moments that leave you breathless but rather the moments that take your breath away. One of these moments was the opening of the Power of Giving art exchange in Alert Bay, British Columbia. Art is the exchange of ideas and values, exactly what transpired when the 'Namgis First Nation and the people of Dresden, Germany, decided to share their most precious artifacts, when an extremely large museum exchanged their treasures with the U'mista Cultural Centre on Cormorant Island.

When items representing the baroque period in history came to British Columbia and the world's finest mask collection went 11,000 kilometres across the globe to Dresden, Germany, it was a journey of respect for us and for those that come after. "The world cannot be safe for democracy unless it is safe for diversity." These words were spoken by renowned First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers at the 2011 DIVERSEcity Awards. It was such a pleasure to hear him speak.

We agree that art is about telling stories, about showcasing cultures, and we both know that diversity needs to be celebrated each and every day. I don't believe there's a better example of showcasing cultures today than the exchange entitled Power of Giving.

Special thanks to Dr. Martin Roth, who invited me to participate; Consul General Sitz; and the many wonderful German visitors who have fallen in love with Cormorant Island. You will always be welcome. I would encourage all British Columbians to take in the exhibit on Cormorant Island, which will run through to August 28, 2011.

National Child and Youth Mental Health

Mental Health challenges affect 15% of Canadian children and youth. - 4 or 5 students in every classroom of thirty students across the Nation struggle in the classroom, in making friends, in participating in activities and in functioning in their families. Many years ago a young Mom came to meet with me, keen to make life better for her son, and keen to work hard for all children and their families experiencing a mental health challenge. This women is extraordinary - her name is Keli Anderson and she is a Founder of the new National Institute of Families for Child and Youth Mental Health. I attended on May 7 where they brought together individuals interested in establishing "Family Smart" as an identity that will be used to endorse programs, practices, policies, services and research that families have identified as helpful and meaningful to them.How wonderful! I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Keli and her colleagues for their outstanding work.

For more information on "Family Smart" and the National Institute please contact

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Hockey Day in Richmond May 7, 2011

I am delighted to lend my support to Richmond Addiction Services, in partnership with Family Services of Greater Vancouver, as they organize "Hockey Day in Richmond" on Saturday May 7, 2011 from noon until 5pm. The event will take place at H.J. Cambie Secondary School as part of Youth Week. Following an afternoon of floor hockey, former NHLer Theo Fleury will give a keynote address "Don't quit Before the Miracle", sharing his personal journey about abuse and recovery from the misuse of substances. Fleury will also join the youth for part of the floor hockey tournament. In addition to being a former NHL All-Star with the Calgary Flames, Fleury is also a #1 best-selling author with his book Playing with Fire, a singer songwriter, Stanley Cup winner, Olympic Gold Medallist at Salt Lake 2002, and World Junior Champion.

Hockey day in Richmond promises to be one of the largest Youth Week events that Richmond has ever seen. It will be a fun-filled afternoon for youth and their families that will focus on prevention of substance use and abuse. If you can help please contact Rick Dubras, Executive Director

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Nite of Hope

Tonight's the night in#Richmondbc to hear Dr. Ashley Davidson a Breast Oncology Fellow at BC Cancer Agency speak to hundreds of wonderful women about new research and developments in cancer care. It will be a gorious evening.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Board Voice Society of BC

Board Voice is a new organization of volunteers from across British Columbia who are serving on non profit boards of agencies that we can all support as we go forward. The members of Board Voice are provincial champions of healthy communities who promote the value of collaborative high quality community based social services who welcome a more coordinated approach to interfacing with government. Their vision is a clear and effective voice for volunteer community-based boards. There is work to do in terms of strengthening the governing capacity of boards and promoting innovation and planning at the community and provincial levels. We all have a stake in building the kinds of communities we wish to live in.

For further information visit:

Friday, 1 April 2011

Women and Wellness doing away with stigma

It was a joy to attend the Women and wellness event at the Van Dusen Garden. The event raised over $3600 for the BC Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association. The money raised wil be used to help deliver mental health education programs and to address the stigma, prejudice and discrimination individuals with mental health problems face.

Those that wish to desire to make a donation to the Association can do so by following this link: which will take you to their donation page.

Special thanks to Bev Gutray fot an amazing speech.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Holy Crap!

Small Business BC Successful You Awards

Saw the Holy Crap Cereal Company win the best concept award at last evenings award ceremony. Take a look for this cereal at your local IGA store.  You can find Holy Crap at the IGA right by my office at The Garden City Shopping Center.

Congratulations to all of the winners.