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Dear Neighbour,
It has been a very busy month, with lots of announcements made. Budgets can do that!

I have started up the library visits again. I will be at the Parkgate Library next on Tuesday, April 19 at 10:00 AM (with Mayor Mike Little), and at the Lynn Valley Library on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:00 PM. I would love to see you. It is an informal time, and you can come and ask me questions and voice your concerns. 

ICBC relief rebate coming for drivers!

Gas prices have risen dramatically since the war in Ukraine. As a way of easing that cost, ICBC is rebating most drivers $110. 

If you had basic auto insurance through ICBC in February, you should see a rebate of $110. If you are a commercial customer, the rebate would be $165, to reflect the additional costs. The rebate should be deposited into bank accounts starting in May, if registered for direct deposit with ICBC, or refunded on credit cards. Everyone else should receive the cheque by mail starting in June. 
The Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Parkgate Community Services Society have been approved for $10 a day Childcare, adding over a hundred new affordable childcare spaces in North Vancouver - Seymour. This is great news! Our government has already converted 6,250 daycare spaces in BC to $10 a day spaces. That number will double to 12,500 by the end of this year thanks to the partnership with the federal government. To find out more about what daycare is available, go to ChildCareBC and find out more about what options are available to families.

Information regarding childcare options is also available at the North Shore Community Resources Society and the BC Aboriginal Child care Society (BCACCS).

Nowruz

I was honoured to attend and to MC the celebration of Nowruz held at the Polygon Gallery earlier this week. Premier Horgan also attended and gave a spectacular address commemorating Nowruz, as well as a moving tribute to the victims of UIA flight 752, who are forever in our memories. 

BC Parks opens a new booking and much improved booking system for camping in BC!

Definitely the booking system for the campsites through BC Parks was a source of frustration for many of us. We heard it loud and clear and we listened! The new booking system is up and running and such an improvement. Please check out the new site at camping.bcparks.ca. I've heard it is spectacular!

Minimum wage to rise come June 1st!

Prior to 2017, BC had one of the lowest minimum wages in Canada, while being one of the most expensive places to live. Our government set a priority of changing that by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and then tying the increases to inflation. Last year, our annual inflation rate was 2.8%, so this year the minimum wage has gone up 2.8%. BC's minimum wage will go from $15.20 an hour to $15.65 an hour on June 1st. Almost 400,000 workers earn minimum wage in BC, and most of those workers are women, immigrants, and youth. This will benefit them the most, but we all benefit when we raise people up. 

Renew ICBC online for policies renewing May 1st onwards!

If your ICBC insurance policy expires on May 1st or later, you can now renew your policy online and up to 44 days before its expiry date. May 1st is also the last date for having to display a new decal on your license plate. These are just some of the ways our government is working towards making car insurance more affordable for British Columbians. Click here for more information. 
Just as a reminder, your Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT) declarations are due on March 31, 2022. If you haven't filled it out already, and need more information, click here

Rapid test kits are now free for people 18 years of age and older!

Rapid antigen testing kits, aka rapid tests are now free for all residents of BC that are 18 years of age and older who have a Personal Health Number (PHN). 

1 kit contains 5 individual tests

You can get one kit every 28 days, and kits can be picked up at your local pharmacies. For a list of pharmacies, click here. The tests are always free. More information regarding rapid test kits can be found here.

You can pick up a kit for someone else, like a parent or grandparent. Make sure you know their full name, date of birth and PHN, the pharmacist will ask you for that information. 

Increased funding for Legal Aid BC

Our government knows the importance of legal services for low income people, which is why in the latest budget we committed to providing Legal Aid BC with $8.19 million in new, ongoing annual funding for legal aid services in the province, helping people get the timely legal services they need.

Of this funding, $7.47 million is an increase to Legal Aid BC’s budget to support lawyers delivering legal aid in the province, while the remaining $730,000 will go to the Society for Children and Youth to fund the expansion of a legal clinic to meet the growing demand for legal services for children and youth by making more lawyers available throughout the province. More information is available here

Supports for youth transitioning from care

When young people age out of care can be a very frightening and uncertain time for them. Without support, many are left lost and scared. Most lack any form of a safety net. Our government is committed to supporting those most in need of help. In Budget 2022, we have increased support and services for youth transitioning out of care till the age of 27. These supports include new housing options, income supports, better access to life skills and mental health programs, and better medical benefits. This means youth and young adults in care will have a stronger support system in place as they move through the transition period into adulthood. We want to help young adults to thrive, not just survive! You can learn more about these supports here

COVID-19 Lessons Learned Review

Have your opinion heard

The Province is launching an independent review and public consultation regarding its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This information will help us learn and enable us to better prepare, should we face something like this in the future. 

If you have any opinions and suggestions on what worked and what did not and would like to provide feedback, please click here to find out more about the review and take the survey. The survey should take around ten or so minutes to complete, and it will help to form the report that will be completed by the fall of 2022. Your information will be kept confidential.

Feedback will be accepted until 4 p.m. on April 20, 2022.

Arthanks

Earlier in the pandemic, a group of artists wanted to say thank you to all the front-line workers and they came up with the idea of Arthanks. Through Arthanks, artists donate pieces of their work to be given to COVID-19 front-line workers. For more information regarding this group, go to Arthanks where you can also see the available art. You can also drop by anytime we are open and check out the works that we have in person. They have been a pleasure for us to look at and we will miss them, but the art is to go to the front-line workers as a thank you!
And as always, if you have questions or need any assistance with provincial supports, or have questions about any other provincial issue, please reach out. My office can be contacted at 604-983-9859 or by emailing us at susie.chant.mla@leg.bc.ca. We look forward to assisting you.
Susie  
My response to the BC Budget is here. 

Nominations are open till April 4th for the Order of BC

Do you know an extraordinary British Columbian? Someone that has demonstrated outstanding achievement, excellence or distinction in a field of endeavour benefiting others in BC? Then nominate them for the highest honour in this province! To learn more about the process of nominating someone, please click here. Nominations are open till Monday, April 4, 2022

COVID-19 Drop-in clinic vaccination clinic

Drop-ins are still welcome at all Vancouver Coastal Health clinics on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on your eligibility and vaccine availability. People 12 and older are eligible to be vaccinated, and you are eligible for a second dose at 28 days after your first dose. Appointments are needed for children ages 5 to 11, as well as for anyone receiving a booster. 

The closest clinic is at:
  • ICBC Claim Centre
    255 Lloyd Ave., North Vancouver, March 25 to 27, 2022, and April 1 to 3
    from 10:30  AM till 4:30 PM. 
For more information and updates on COVID-19 vaccine clinics locations and times, click here

If you needing a booster dose, register here to get your invite!

Congratulatory Messages

Personal messages of congratulations from our office and the office of the Premier are available for milestone birthdays and anniversaries. A milestone birthday is when you achieve 75 years of age or older, and for an anniversary it is when you reach your silver anniversary, also known as 25 years. Forms can be filled out here, or you can contact the office for more information. And congratulations to anyone and everyone that has achieved such a milestone!

Office Hours

Our office is open from 10 till 5 PM on Monday and Friday, and from 9 AM till 5 PM Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The office is closed for lunch from noon till 1 PM.

Due to the nature of our work, sometimes we may be closed for meetings, or we may be out of office to attend events, so it is best to call ahead. Our phone number is
604 983 9859
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I gratefully acknowledge the opportunity to

live,
work,
and learn

on the unceded territories of the
sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish)
and
sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh)
Nations. 

Copyright © 2022 Susie Chant MLA, All rights reserved.



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