Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Leader of the BC Green Party, fielded questions from his constituents on Nov. 30 on a range of current issues including Site C, Kinder Morgan, fish farms, and the electoral reform referendum. (Keri Coles/Oak Bay News)

Shortages of Doctors and Housing, again top of mind to start 2019

The final part of our year end interviews with MLA Andrew Weaver centres on consituent issues

Looking ahead to 2019, Andrew Weaver has a lot on his plate.

The Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA says the biggest issue that his constituents write in about is the lack of doctors.

“It’s a big issue and issue and a growing issues as more and more doctors retire, and fewer and fewer take over,” Weaver said.

In a poll conducted by the Oak Bay News in November asking if readers had a family doctor, 58 per cent of respondents said no. Although a newspaper poll is not scientific, it does provide some substance to complaints about the shortage of family doctors in B.C.

Although there were boosts to expand pharmacare earlier in 2018, we did not see much concrete government action doctor shortages this year.

READ MORE: Following legislative process key to cross-party amendments: Andrew Weaver

“It can’t come soon enough to actually move towards the creation of new health-care centres,” Weaver said. “No. 2, I would say, is the issues of affordability. There are people who are concerned that their children can no longer live and work in the same city that they grew up in because of the affordability crisis. That’s very clearly an issue,” Weaver said.

RELATED: Victoria housing starts mostly rentals

There has been more government action on housing. Although vacancy rates in Greater Victoria have begun rise, rents also continue to climb. Moreover, housing policy is largely a municipal jurisdiction, dictated by bylaws and community consensus collection.

“In terms of others there’s smaller issues. There’s issues with respect to derelict vessels, there’s access to mental heath facilities. There’s concerns that have been brought to us about social services systems. On the day-to-day things that we see in the constituency, access to a family doctor, as well as the issues of affordability are right up at the top.”

READ MORE: It takes forever: Weaver on derelict boats

Provincially, 2018 saw lots of headlines on environmental policy, ride-hailing, and electoral reform. We interviewed Weaver before the results were announced – a resounding no – Dec. 20. At the time, he predicted a 52-48 yes win. This will make Weaver’s new years’ resolution all the more important.

“I never make them because you just make them to break them, but – my new years resolution is to do everything I can to show the people of Nanaimo that Green is the colour of the Nanaimo byelection in 2019.”



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s 75,000 veggie plants ready to find a home

New gardeners line-up for Get Growing Victoria

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

No one injured in suspicious Victoria boat fire, say investigators

Victoria police and fire personnel called to blaze on waters near Selkirk Trestle May 22

VIDEO: Saanich police tackle man who refused to move off Trans-Canada Highway

At this point, it is unclear why the man refused to move

Three people facing mischief charges after protests at Premier John Horgan’s home

Special prosecutor was appointed to avoid real or perceived undue influence

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read