(Editor's note: Today we introduce a new weekly column, by Kelowna-Mission MLA Renee Merrifield.)
This last two years of the pandemic taught us many things.
First, it reinvented our lines of communication. Second, it has showed us how much we need each other. And lastly, it taught us how interconnected our worlds are.
Having taken a jump from the private sector into politics in the middle of the pandemic, it has been a season of forging these new paths, all the while understanding how much more connected politics needs to be with people.
For the last 25 years in Kelowna, I have believed in our potential and in who we are as a collective. I have been so privileged to be a part of this community and I feel a debt of gratitude for the life it has afforded me and my family.
Being the mother of five kids (three of my own and two amazing stepsons), I am fighting for the next generation—for their hopes and dreams.
But I am also part of the sandwich generation, and I understand the complexity of aging in our society. Watching my parents and in-laws through the pandemic, I believe we have so much work to do on supporting seniors in their aging process.
Times have changed but government hasn’t moved quickly enough to stay current with the present needs.
I am an entrepreneur at heart, but also a leader. Over the last 25 years in business, I experienced the highs of economic success and the lows of recession, all the while serving the community on boards and through philanthropy. I believe in how we are connected and in serving our community’s collective voice to get things accomplished.
(In this column) I will share how changes in legislation will affect our business community, as it is the heart of our Okanagan Valley.
My belief in our community, it’s businesses, the families and our interconnectedness hasn’t changed despite the change in my role. I feel becoming an MLA was an extension of who I am in relationships and in business, and it is another opportunity to serve the greater common good.
When I became an MLA, I did so because I believe in people. Without people, neighbourhoods, communities, societies, politics and businesses, nothing exists. It all starts with people. But we also need to be connected to each other.
Hence, this column. I want to hear from you, let you know what we are doing in Victoria and how that might affect you.
As the critic for Environment and Climate Change, as well as the critic for Gender, Equity and Inclusion, I will continue to draw attention to the issues at hand, and let you know about policies affecting you. And then it’s your turn to let me know how you feel about what I’m saying.
I want to know what you are concerned about, where you are experiencing difficulties and how your world could improve. I want to know where policy and government is succeeding, and how it could be made even better. I want to help us all understand the decisions that are being made in the Legislative Assembly and how these new laws may affect you and your family.
Through our dialog, I want you to feel empowered and emboldened to make great decisions, and to know your voice matters. I want to feel heard, understood and engaged.
I am looking forward to this journey together and I hope you will come along with me.
Renee Merrifield is the B.C. Liberal MLA for Kelowna-Mission. You can contact her at at [email protected] or 250.712.3620
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.