Courtenay-Comox MLA, Ronna-Rae Leonard, said the province is hitting 2020 with a full head of steam.

Leonard said the NDP government is going to build off what she called a “pretty exciting” 2019.

“We started off as a new government with a lot of promises to try and overcome 16 years of neglect in the province. And we started to deliver seriously on those promises.”

Leonard said that one of those promises is delivering supportive and affordable housing, both locally and across the province: “Over 22,000 affordable housing units are built or underway; locally, we have The Junction that has housing (for) previously homeless folks – 46 of them, and that happened in pretty quick order.”

She also pointed out the opening of the Braidwood Project, a 35-unit, three-storey housing development.

Leonard said “there’s still so much more to do.” 

“We have an ambitious plan, and that’s what we look forward to (this) year,” she said. 

On Nov. 26, B.C. became the first province in Canada to enshrine the human rights of Indigenous peoples in law. 

That’s because Bill 41, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples act, passed unanimously.

Leonard envisions the implementation rollout happening this year.

“That’s pretty exciting because for us to recognize that we’ve had this systemic issue of not recognizing the human rights of a whole sector of people in this province, and it’s an exciting time that we are going to be really focusing government in helping inspire confidence, not only for people, but for their economic opportunities.”

She also said she’s excited about the new Climate Change Accountability Act.

“Every year there’s going to be measures taken to make sure that we are going to be able to meet the (climate) targets that we have set, regardless of who is sitting in the seat of the government,” she said.

Locally, she mentioned “shovels in the ground” for a major seismic upgrade at Lake Trail Middle School, 126 seniors beds for residential care and hospice, the water treatment facility, and bringing the Kus-kus-sum Project home.

“I was very proud that our government supported the (Kus-kus-sum) project to purchase the old Field Sawmill site and see it turned into a wonderful, natural restoration that will do so much for the City of Courtenay, for the environment, (and) for K’ómoks First Nation.”