Over the last two months I’ve devoted a significant amount of my time to one of my favourite jobs as an MLA – reaching out to constituents.
Armed with newsletters and aided by many dedicated volunteers, my team and I have been door knocking all over Saanich South. Door knocking is something that I love doing throughout my term as MLA and particularly in the summer (the Legislature isn’t usually in session and as a result I have more time to spend in my constituency).
Many people ask me what the goal of an outreach project like this is. The answer is simple: it’s about connecting with people and hearing what issues matter most to them.
For this outreach project my office created a survey about provincial affairs – such as affordable housing and climate change – in order to gain insight about the most pressing issues for residents.
There were variations among neighbourhoods. For example, in Glanford, 90 per cent of the people we spoke with identified weaknesses in public education as a top concern. In Cordova Bay, 79 per cent of people raised issues with our health care system as what most requires action, and in Broadmead improving food security was cited by 86 per cent as a key issue they wanted improved.
We knocked on over 3,500 doors and spoke to hundreds of people. I am so pleased to share with you all that there was a recurring theme holding together almost every opinion and perspective we heard: the importance of our shared well-being. Issues such as climate change and housing unaffordability came up over and over again and in every corner of the constituency. People want change that improves our shared quality of life.
One final thought: although I’ve talked to lots of you already and I plan to do more door-knocking in August, I know many of you will be away or unable to chat when I arrive unannounced. So feel free to contact me with any feedback you may have whatsoever. I set my priorities by what I hear from constituents. You could even answer our survey over the phone if you like. My number is 250-479-4154 and my office is at 4085 Quadra St., just north of McKenzie Avenue. My website is www.saanichsouth.ca. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Lana Popham is the MLA for Saanich South.