I would like to begin this week in offering my sincere condolences to all who were involved in the tragedy north of Summerland last week.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families and students who were impacted by this most unfortunate event.
A constituent who was one of the first to arrive at the accident scene offered a reminder to my office on the importance to carry first aid equipment and emergency supplies to help render assistance in such conditions.
It is a point well taken.
Recently the Ministry of Agriculture has put out a request for input from citizens regarding the ALR and more specifically to provide input on potential residence size and location for properties located within the British Columbia Agricultural Land Reserve.
As there are many ALR properties located within the South Okanagan I would encourage interested residents to provide input on this topic.
To learn more about this survey please visit www.agf.gov.bc.ca prior to the July 14 deadline.
Another new program that may be of interest to some citizen’s is the Healthy Start Nurse Family Program that will be offered across British Columbia in 2012.
This new program will offer public nurse home visitations to vulnerable and low income expectant first time mothers who are in the first twenty eight weeks of pregnancy.
The home nurses can provide support for health and nutrition counselling, pre- and post-natal advice and guidance, and provide referrals to other supportive health and social service resources.
British Columbia will be the first province in Canada to offer this program that will help to ensure that our children help get off to a healthy start in life. More information can be found at www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca
Lastly, this week is the upcoming HST referendum.
Shortly you will receive a mail in ballot that will allow you to vote on the HST. The ballots can be sent back in to Elections BC or they can be dropped off at any Service B.C. location.
All ballots must be returned to Elections BC or a Service BC location no later than 4:30 p.m., Friday, July 22.
For questions or further information on this process please contact elections BC at 1-800-661-8683
For more information regarding the HST you can also visit the www.hstinbc.ca website.
As the voting period is soon to get underway I do not intend to speak to the HST in future reports until such time the ballot return period has concluded.
Bill Barisoff is the MLA for Penticton.