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Eric Foster gearing up for election
Heading into an election year, the region’s MLA is confident he and his Liberal party will be able to continue with their work.
“Our record speaks for itself,” said Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster.
Between all of the union contracts that have been signed in 2012 and efforts to improve the economy with investments coming into B.C., Foster applauds Premier Christy Clark’s efforts
“She’s done a great job.”
Despite what the polls are saying about the Liberals, Foster says the real results will come May 14.
“The only poll that counts is election day.”
One effort the government is working on is a plan to liquefy natural gas in B.C.
“It’s a $30-billion industry,” said Foster, adding that it will make it easier, and safer, to transport the province’s healthy supply of natural gas from areas like Kitimat and Prince Rupert to Asia.
The economy is the top priority worldwide, and Foster says B.C. has improved its position over the past year.
From mills up and running in the forest industry to product sales up in various sectors, he says there is evidence the economy is continuing to improve.
“That’s an indication that people have money to spend.”
Locally the top issue is completion of Vernon Jubilee Hospital’s top two shelled in floors in the new Polson tower.
The local MLA has been championing the issue ever since the floors were completed.
“Everybody is affected by that, it could be you, could be your kids, could be your grandchildren, could be a friend, a neighbour.”
His lobbying efforts resulted in a commitment from the government last spring to have the rooms in the top two floors completed.
“We need the beds, there’s no question about it.”
But now the question on many resident’s minds is when.
The work is being stalled by discussions between Interior Health and the government on what will be completed, since there was no commitment to complete the operating rooms on the two floors.
Foster is hoping construction will begin in the spring.
Another project Foster has fought for since his first UBCM convention in 1986 is re-alignment of Highway 6, between Grey and Ricardo roads.
That project is currently underway and expected to be completed in September of 2013.
“We’re in pretty good shape here,” said Foster. “We’ve got a new hospital, a couple new schools and a whole bunch of new roads.
“Locally, we’re just going to carry on to deliver the services.”
On the healthcare end, another cause Foster is being lobbied to support is a licensed care facility in Coldstream. Such a facility is currently under construction in Lumby but Coldstream Meadows has been trying to gain one for years.
“The demographics in the North Okanagan are such that we need more beds, we need more facilities,” said Foster.
“We’re always on the lobby for more facilities here.”