Weekly Commentary  

Skeleton déjà-vu

You thought he was fast at the Olympics?

You should have seen gold medalist John Montgomery on Saturday…flying through the course as auctioneer at the Gala of Hope fundraiser!

Just as he causes spectators to rise to their feet at the ice track, he had them raising their bidding cards at the dinner supporting cancer projects.
The sold out Okanagan event was a great success. It's both impressive and heart-warming to see the many individuals and businesses who step up to offer high priced items for sale, and to see the generous bidding that follows.

(My target for the night was a 2003 Harley-Davidson Sportster, donated by the good people over at Kreator Custom Motorcycles. One glance from my wife and I realized I'd be riding solo if I raised my bid card, sooo...)

On the note of people working together you really need to see how quickly the Seniors affordable housing project is going up in Penticton. I was just there to do the official ground-breaking ceremony with Hon. Bill Barisoff and Mayor Dan Ashton. The ground was well broken before we got there to do the symbolic shovel routine. As a matter of fact, the walls of this 58 unit project are already up! The feds and province together have invested $3.2 million to make this happen.

The really impressive donor is the Kiwanis club. They put up the land (valued at over $1 million) and over $1million cash equity to qualify for the fed/prov money. Hats off to all you Kiwanis folks for keeping the dream alive all these years!

Other infrastructure projects we launched this week included the wastewater diversion away from Osoyoos Lake and highway improvements north of there and on Hwy.3 to Keremeos.

Last week I also drove up to Revelstoke to announce 3 highway improvement projects in 3 National Parks.

By the way, if you literally want to eat the food of Champions, drop into "The Modern" restaurant and bakery in downtown Revelstoke. Among the amazing dishes they serve up they also supplied fresh baked bread to the Athletes Village during the Olympics. I recommend the honey and nut and the whole grain. I bought 3 loaves. And their soup is awesome! But get there early for lunch. At 11:30 the place was already busy.

From there it was a drive through a snow fall to Kamloops. The pulp and paper plant there is doing a multi-million dollar retrofit through our Green Transformation Program. When the new boilers and systems are in place it will mean a reduction of emissions by 70 %.

After that announcement I met with some students and faculty to talk about their hopes for the future and how their careers will get them there. There was no talk of recession or worry about finding jobs with these young people. They are confident and proactive. Made me feel good about the future.

Along with Ron Cannan and Colin Mayes, the official opening of the new Passport Office serving the Okanagan and Interior marked the end of a long journey. Thanks to everyone who persisted in making for a period of years to finally see this happen. No more having to drive all the way to Surrey to get passport applications in. Hard to believe there were 48,000 applications from our region last year. People at the opening were asking me if the 10 year passport will become a reality. Progress is being made on that possibility, will keep you tuned in when I get an update.

All in all…a busy week in and around the constit and BC.

Tune in next week for my review of the week in the House of Commons.

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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