Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

Wishing you and your families a Happy & Safe New Year! All the best for 2013

Friday, 28 December 2012

Details on UBC

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is home to approximately 48 thousand students at its Vancouver Campuses and close to 8 thousand at its Okanagan Campus. The school is committed to ensuring that students have the opportunity to engage fully in their academic pursuits. UBC strives to provide their students with the opportunity to have a blend of volunteer and work experience while attending classes through their UBC Community Learning Initiative and Co-op Programs.

For more information, please visit their website: or e-mail questions to

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Dream on Seniors Wish Foundation

The Dream on Seniors Wish Foundation is a private charitable organization founded by Nurse Next Door Home Care Services that aims to celebrate aging and make the dreams of seniors come true.  The Foundation promotes a culture of respect and admiration and encourages seniors to never stop dreaming.  The Dream on Foundation shows that life doesn't stop at the age of 65.

For more on Dream on Seniors Wish Foundation please visit their website:

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Legion In BC & the Yukon

Did you  know...

That the Royal Canadian Legion is Canada's largest non-governmental service organization open to membership for all Canadians. The Royal Canadian Legion shares in its commitment of "Remembrance" and standing for a strong and united Canada.

  • is the largest non-profit provider of veteran/seniors housing with over 4,500 units in 70 facilities with a community investment of approximately $169 Million;
  • has endowed the Chair of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia for over a quarter of a century, creating new family doctors in rural and under-serviced areas;
  • is a significant contributor to the BC Seniors Games;
  • volunteers over 600,000 hours in communities supporting health, social, educational and athletic programs;
  • traditionally supports over 400 youth groups and is the largest contributor supporting Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and Cadets;
  • provides bursaries and scholarships worth more than $819,000 annually; contributes in excess of $400,000 for medical research and special medical equipment in health care facilities;
  • is one of the critical points of contact in many communities for emergency preparedness and response;
  • is the sole sponsor of the BC/Yukon Team participating at the annual National Track and Field Championships and training camp with 400 youth from across Canada;
For more information about the BC & Yukon Command please go to

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Wishing all of my constituents of Richmond East a Merry & Safe Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Can you help Moses Chan

Earlier this month I attended a Richmond Chinese Lions Club event. At the event I met an individual, Moses Chan who has suffered greatly from a serious bacterial infection in his blood; losing both his arms and legs. He has recently undergone surgery with respect to his legs, however, life is not the same for this same he still cannot perform the regular daily activities that we all enjoy. He is raising money to get a prosthesis that will look like his hands so that he can perform and live life like before. These new prosthesis will aid him being able to work and raise his six year old son. To date, Moses has raised $50,000 with a goal to reach $100,000 in order to cover the costs of the prosthesis and surgery. If you could, please help Moses and his family by making a small donation. Donations can be made to:

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Business Outreach

Richmond East is the home to many growing and already established corporate and small businesses.  In the earlier part of December I had the priviledge of attending the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards;  where a number of businesses nominated are from Richmond East.  One of the businesses I recently toured was Star Solutions, a pioneer in All-IP based wireless infrastructure technologies. “For over 14 years, Star Solutions has been a global leader in network infrastructure products with a core mission to enable wireless operators to reach their customers using Internet Protocol technology.” Star Solutions employs close to 100 employees at it’s Richmond office.  They specialize in providing cellular connectivity in rural/hard to reach locations and developing easier and more efficient connectivity during state emergencies. For more information on their developments please check out their website here: Attached is a photograph of Star Solutions CEO, Jack Mar and I infront of one of the network hubs at his Richmond facility.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Adoption Awareness Month

The month of November marks the British Columbia Adoption awareness month.  Adoption Awareness Month is a government initiative to make the option as well as the benefits of adoption better known to both possible adopters as well as the rest of British Columbia.  As of now, over one thousand children and adolescents are currently looking for a permanent family.  These youth come from different backgrounds, and all are deserving of a loving family that will support them through their early lives, and ensure a positive future.  Adoption is a major focus of the Ministry of Children and Family development.  The ministry ensures that these youth obtain the best possible outcome, such as having youth grow up in an environment that is similar to their cultural heritage.  In addition, the ministry provides support to adoptive parents.  Through the Post-Adoption Assistance Program, the Ministry is committed to providing both adopted youth and their parents with financial assistance to ensure their well-being.  For more information, please check out the MCFD’s website on adoption here: Hopefully Adoption Awareness month will provide information to potential adoptive parents who will support a child through the stages where family is crucial.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Royal Canadian Scottish Regiment 100th Anniversary

Today and Tomorrow will mark the celebrations of the Royal Canadian Scottish Regiment 100th anniversary celebrations.  Pro-Scottish citizens advocated for the formation of the regiment, which was founded on August 13th, 1913.  In the First World War the men of this regiment served in many historically significant battles, such as Ypres in April of 1915.  In the Second World War, the Canadian Scottish would yet again see action.  The men would serve on the D-Day assault, and would play a major role in the liberation of the Netherlands.  Today, it still remains as a reserves battalion, celebrating an important part of Canadian Military History and a proud symbol of Scottish heritage.  So if you are out in Victoria, be sure to attend the celebrations to recognize this special anniversary.

Friday, 12 October 2012

We Day and the Teck Initiative

Hello everyone! Next week on October 18th, 2012 is Free the Children’s annual We Day event in Vancouver.  Free the Children is a Canadian charity that ensures the wellbeing and rights of children worldwide, as well as getting youth involved in combating humanitarian violations and injustice. We Day is a continuation of this belief, as Free the Children host events across Canada for the purpose of educating young youth in humanitarian issues, and promoting the message of getting involved. One of the messages this year is Zinc deficiency in children, which affects many worldwide.  In conjunction with We  Day, Teck is promoting their twitter campaign “One Tweet One Life”.  On the dates of the We Day events, Teck will donate 50 cents per retweet of the  @ZincSavesLives We Day message towards Zinc treatment.  The treatment costs 50 cents to administer, so every retweet received will save a child from the effects of Zinc deficiency.  So next Thursday, be sure to retweet the message “One Tweet One Life", and help rid the problem of Zinc deficiency.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Happy Thanksgiving and National Family Week

Hello everyone! As I am writing, I hope that everyone is looking forward to this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, spent with those dearest to us.
This week is National Family Week; it’s a week dedicated to celebrating the importance of our families, and how important our families are within our lives.  Under the administration of the Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs, National Family Week has for twenty years celebrated the importance of families within Canada.
The spirit of National Family Week is perfect for this upcoming Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for, especially for our loved ones and families.  On that note, I again wish that everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

National Organic Week

This Week is National Organic Week, as Canada comes together to celebrate the illustrious Canadian organic food and materials industry.  Organic products can be seen as the most environmentally friendly option that a consumer has in purchasing both food, and other products such as organic cotton clothing.  By utilizing environmentally friendly farming techniques, the growth of organic goods causes minimal harm to the environment.  In addition, these techniques also keep the growing environment fertile, and maintain the quality of Canadian farmland.  When one purchases organic products, they can be sure that they have undergone a thorough approval before they are sold on store shelves.

What can you do to celebrate organic week?  One way would be to make an active effort to buy locally produced organic foods.  The BC government is investing money to make locally produced foods more available to consumers.  With the many farms in Richmond, this provides a great opportunity to begin to purchase locally grown food.  Buying local both supports the local agriculture sector, and reduces the environmental costs of the transport of food.  Help us celebrate Organic Week.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Be More Than a Bystander

I am writing today to spread the word about “Be More Than a Bystander”, a new initiative between the Ending Violence Association of BC, and the BC Lions.  Over the course of two years, with the guidance of an advisory group composed of experts in the field, members of the BC Lions football team will raising awareness based on four main steps.  Step one will be forty BC Lions facilitated workshops aimed at youths from grade eight to twelve that hopefully encourage youths to step in and not just be a bystander.  The second step is training coaches of amateur sport on the issue, so that they can pass down the message to their players. Third, throughout Vancouver and Surrey there will be an advertising campaign designed to promote the importance of taking action against Women Violence.  Finally, an educational film will be developed promoting a positive message that it is not cool if you disrespect women, and that you should be more than just a bystander.  This project will hopefully reduce the number of women that are victims of various forms of violence, such as domestic and sexual assault.  Also, it will try to make it just as much as a men’s issue and have a positive effect on certain attitudes and behaviors that result in violence against women.

For more information, please visit  

Monday, 30 April 2012

Child Care Month in B.C.

It is my pleasure to rise in the House today to recognize and celebrate the upcoming month of May as Child Care Month in B.C.

Every year in May, the B.C. government, families, child-care providers, early childhood development professionals, community organizations, and municipalities join together to commemorate this important month.

It’s about shining the spotlight on child-care providers – and the important work they do each and every day – for young children and their families!  These children are our youngest learners – and they are growing, learning, and thriving, thanks in part to the dedication of child-care providers across the British Columbia.

The high quality of child care in this province is evident - and it definitely shines through when you walk through the doors of child-care facilities.  Child care providers in family child care environments and in group child care centres organize and offer an array of play-based learning activities for babies, toddlers, and children.

Child care also gives young children a chance to interact and socialize with other young children – an important part of the early years.  What this means for families – is peace of mind.  It means that parents can pursue career, education and training opportunities, knowing their children are safe, happy and well-cared for.

We are very fortunate here in B.C. to provide many options for parents – ranging from large, group child care facilities, to smaller, family- based care.

Many child care programs are tailored to meet diverse needs - Aboriginal child cares offer cultural programming for children to help them stay connected to their cultural roots, and programs are available for young parents who are still in school.

Child-care providers and early learning professionals – caring, committed and skilled individuals who take on the important role of helping to care for our children – carry out their extremely valuable work throughout the year. THe annual Child Care Awards of Excellence – honouring child-care professionals, organizations, and local governments who have demonstrated outstanding service to children and families – will be held on May 11 in Vancouver.
The B.C. government is also recognizing the valuable service child-care providers provide by proclaiming May 17 as Child Care Provider Appreciation Day.

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the members of the House join me in celebrating Child Care Month and the extraordinary work of thousands of child care professionals across the province.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Purple Day

Yesterday, March 26, 2012 was Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness.  MLA Guy Gentner rose in the house and shared a personal story of a childhood friend who had epilepsy.  This friend and his parents wouldn’t talk about what was happening to him.  Epilepsy has long been a stigmatized disorder due to various misconceptions and myths about what epilepsy is and what causes it.  These misconceptions include fears of contagion, stemming from the idea that epilepsy is a disease rather than a disorder, and fears that epilepsy is a sign of psychological disorder, which it is not. 
Epilepsy refers to a diverse set of chronic neurological disorders which are characterized by the occurrence and reoccurrence of seizures.  A seizure is an event which is caused by excessive neuronal activity in the brain.  Seizures vary in their manifestations: they may cause convulsions, loss of motor control, and temporary changes in psychic state.  One seizure does not indicate a diagnosis of epilepsy; those with epilepsy have multiple seizures.  Approximately 300,000 Canadians are living with epilepsy.
Purple Day was started in 2008 by young Cassidy Megan from Nova Scotia when she was just nine years old.  Motivated by her own struggles with epilepsy, she sought to bring awareness to the disorder and, in so doing, destigmatize it.  The movement Cassidy started is now recognized worldwide.  For more information on Purple Day, and for information on ways in which you can support those with epilepsy, please visit  and .

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Therapeutic Relationship with Pets

I would like to dedicate this post to Jane Dison, the executive director with the B.C. Coalition of People with Disabilities.
Comfort, solace, companionship, and bonding are all basic human needs. Dr. Corn of UBC talks about one of the newest trends in medical research, which focuses on the relationship between people and their pets and the effect this has on their physical and mental wellbeing.
The scientific data is unequivocal in showing that dogs can be a significant factor in reducing stress responses in all people, and can have a major beneficial effect on special groups, such as persons with physical and mental disabilities, seniors and others who may be socially isolated.
The medical recognition of the significance of the human-animal bond and its influence on human psychological health has become a subject of serious research. Human findings include: lower blood pressure, relaxed heart rate, regular breathing and less muscle tension — all signs of reduced stress. Individuals with disabilities are particularly susceptible to stress. Up to 25 percent of people who seek the services of general practitioner do so for depressive and anxiety disorders.
Depression is considered to be much more disabling, socially and physically, than many chronic conditions. Although depression can be caused by many factors, one of the most common is loneliness. People who lack human contact often benefit from pet ownership and the emotional bond that pets provide.
Recently researchers looked at a group of people 60 and older living alone or only with a pet. Non–pet owners were four times more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression than were pet owners of the same age. The evidence also showed that pet owners required fewer medical services and were more satisfied overall with their lives.
In the year 2010, Dr. Arby Fine edited a stunning collection of chapters on animal-assisted therapy, theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice, in which the authors explore the animal-human bond — from the use of animals with individuals with autism spectrum disorder, to human-animal interactions in successful aging.
Animals have become an important part of the lives of many people of all ages, and there are now numerous studies to support the beneficial effects, both physiological and psychosocial.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Scottish Ancestry

January is a celebratory month for those of Scottish descent, starting with the first footing on New Year’s Day and followed by the birthday of Scotland’s national poet, Robbie Burns, on January 25. .  Burns wrote both in the Scots language as well as in standard English and his poems and songs became famous the world over.  His song Scots Wha Hae served as Scotland’s unofficial national anthem for years and Burns himself came to be regarded as a cultural icon.
Symbols represent our identity and how we understand each other, both past and present. Some may ask why a tartan is a symbol for British Columbia. The B.C. tartan was initially created to mark the double centenaries of the union of B.C. and the Confederation of Canada in 1966 and 1967. It was eventually recognized in legislation through the British Columbia Tartan Act of 1974.
The provincial tartan has five colours, each with its own significance: blue for the ocean, white for the dogwood, green for the forests, red for the maple leaf, and gold for the Crown and the sun on the shield and flag.
An official tartan pays tribute to the many and varied contributions of Canadians of Scottish ancestry to Canada. Sir John A. Macdonald and other fathers of Canadian Confederation, who laid down the legal and legislative basis for the new nation of Canada, were Scots. The direct impact of Scottish culture on Canada has been and continues to be significant.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Housing Partnerships

On February 17th, there was a town hall meeting to address the issue of affordable housing in our community.  Minister Responsible for Housing, the Honourable Rich Coleman, spoke about the challenges which face us in ensuring that every person in our community has access to affordable, comfortable housing.

Affordable housing is a fundamental part of a vibrant and healthy community.  Minister Coleman discussed strategies and actions which have been successful in increasing the availability of affordable housing in communities around the province.  He stressed that the provincial government is aiming to develop affordable housing initiative partnerships with individual municipal governments.  The goal of each of these partnerships is to develop long term strategies to combat homelessness and unsafe housing in each municipality.
We are seeing some steps forward where affordable housing is concerned.  In Richmond, 2007 saw the opening of the Austin Harris Residence, which consists of 50 assisted-living units for seniors.  Maple Residences, located in Steveston Village, is currently under construction and will offer 144 units with supports for independent seniors.  Also currently under construction is the Remy, which will include 33 units which are subsidized by the government.   A subdivision proposed on Ash Street in Richmond East will offer affordable housing to first time homebuyers with low to moderate incomes.
It is my hope that Richmond can continue to work with the BC Government to provide affordable housing to the members of its community who are in dire need of it.  We want to make sure that every family in our community has a safe, healthy, affordable home in which to grow up and take care of each other.