COMMENT: Thoughts turn to fall as summer nears an end

Linda Larson
By Linda Larson
August 29th, 2014

August has gone by quickly as summer months seem to do. The ‘buzz’ word of the month was ‘staycation’. Many of you have been enjoying holidays in B.C. for many years but perhaps a few more British Columbians decided to look at what was available close to home but still ‘away’.

My husband and I have been going to Beaver Lake Resort for a few days each summer, only three hours from home and one of many small pieces of paradise in the Okanagan. Another hidden jewel is Big White. While many of you think of skiing when you see the name, it is truly a beautiful place for a summer vacation. Walking or hiking, amazing views, and 10 degrees cooler than the valley bottom. While we love the heat, a few days break for it is welcome.

There were many events and celebrations over the summer, but I only have space to touch on a few. The BC Wildlife Federation in partnership with the BC Freshwater Fishing Association held a fundraiser at Twin Lakes to support their ‘Anyone can Fish’ initiative and other programs to enable people of any age or circumstance to enjoy fishing. A huge thanks to Kate at Twin Lakes for her generosity and Mike Stern and his team for their work in organizing this successful event.

Did you know the town of Oliver has been recognized by the Okanagan Basin Water Board under their initiative ‘Make Water Work’ as the most water wise community in the Okanagan? Oliver residents responded to the challenge to conserve and are to be congratulated on embracing this challenge.

The BC Ambassador Program has just selected three young women to carry the banner for the next year. We are proud of Oliver’s Juliana Martine on her selection. I also want to thank Osoyoos’s Lauren Smallwood who was a BC Ambassador last year. These young women will attend many provincial events in the year as an Ambassador and are role models to all of the importance of community participation and volunteering.

While we appreciate slightly cooler evenings as we move into fall, this is not the end of our busy season. Over the next two months there are numerous fall fairs, including Rock Creek’s on Sept 13 and 14 as well as celebrations throughout the region as our world class wine industry brings in another vintage and shares their passion with multiple food and wine events. Please take time to enjoy all the great fall activities throughout Boundary, Similkameen, and the South Okanagan.

As chair of the Select Standing Committee on Health, I want to pass on to all of you our Request for Submissions. We would be pleased to hear from any of you on these subjects:

  1. How government can improve health and health care services in rural B.C.? In particular what long term solutions can address the challenges of recruitment and retention of health-care professionals?
  2. How can we create a cost-effective system of primary and community care built around interdisciplinary teams?
  3. What best practices can be implemented to improve end-of-life care?
  4. How can we enhance the effectiveness of addiction recovery programs?

For a full explanation of the submission process and goals please visit the Select Standing Committee on Health online at https://www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/health/submission.asp.

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