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MLA-Minute

MLA's office is more than just a workspace

More than just an office

In the heart of Kelowna, my constituency office of Kelowna-Mission stands as a beacon of service and representation for the residents of this vibrant community.

It's not just a building, it's a hub of activity, assistance, and advocacy, where the needs and voices of Kelownians are heard and acted upon.

At the forefront of this mission are two dedicated individuals—Jody Cleland, my office manager and constituency assistant and Sonia Sandhu, who works tirelessly alongside her. Together, they form the backbone of our local engagement, ensuring every resident of Kelowna has a voice.

Jody and Sonia's roles are multifaceted and essential. They are the first point of contact for anyone seeking assistance or information. Be it a concern about provincial infrastructure, social serviceso r a broader policy issue, they are there to listen, guide, and help. Their commitment to the community is unparalleled, often going beyond the call of duty to ensure residents' concerns and needs are addressed effectively.

They hear your issues, and work hard with ministry staff to do whatever possible to find a remedy.

They also take the roadblocks constituents experience and help me by articulating those in a meaningful way for me to take to Victoria to work on.

As an MLA, my work is deeply influenced by the insights and experiences shared by my constituents. This is where our constituency office plays a crucial role.

It acts as a bridge between the people of Kelowna and the legislative processes in Victoria. Through regular interactions, community meetings, and feedback sessions, we gather a wealth of information about the issues that matter most to residents.

Collaboration is key in our approach to serving Kelowna.

We work closely with all levels of government - municipal, provincial, and federal - to ensure the needs of the community are met in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. This collaborative spirit extends to working with local organizations, businesses, and community groups, fostering a sense of shared purpose and mutual support.

It also includes issues like public safety in Rutland, a new middle school, our Mission Creek watershed or childcare, healthcare and mental health supports.

We are currently planning a public town hall with BC United Leader Kevin Falcon, on Feb. 7.

As leader of the official Opposition, Kevin needs to hear your concerns and priorities so he can advocate for Kelowna and B.C. More details will be made available soon and I hope you can all make it.

My staff and I will also host an International Women’s Day luncheon on March 8.

But our constituency office is not just about addressing current issues, it's also a place where we plan and prepare for the future of Kelowna.

From environmental concerns to economic development, we are always looking forward to ensuring that our community remains vibrant, sustainable, and prosperous.

When we take these local concerns and ideas to Victoria, they are not just abstract concepts, they are the voices and stories of the people of Kelowna.

It is my responsibility and privilege to echo these in the halls of the legislature, advocating for policies and initiatives that will benefit our community. Each debate, each decision, is influenced by the real-life experiences and needs of residents, as shared with us through our constituency office.

The work we do at my constituency office is integral to my role as an MLA.

Jody and Sonia, with their dedication and hard work, ensure residents of Kelowna are not just heard, but are actively represented and advocated for.

It's a collaborative effort, one that involves the community, various levels of government, and the legislative processes in Victoria. Together, we strive to make Kelowna not just a place to live, but a thriving community where every voice matters and every story is valued.

My question to you is this:

How much do you know about the constituency staff and how they can help you?

I love hearing from you and read every email. Please email me at [email protected] or call the office at 250-712-3620.

Renee Merrield is the BC United MLA for Kelowna-Mission.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

Renee Merrifield is the BC United MLA for Kelowna - Mission and the Opposition critic for Environment and Climate Change, as well as Gender, Equity and Inclusion.  She currently serves on the Select Standing Committee for Finance as well.

A long-time resident of Kelowna, Renee started, and continues to lead, many businesses from construction and development to technology. Renee is a compassionate individual who cares about others in the community, believes in giving back and helping those in need through service.

She values your feedback and conversation, and can be reached at [email protected] or 250.712.3620



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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