In Our Passionate, Engaged Community

It's been a busy and productive summer and fall in my Victoria-Beacon Hill Community Office. In response to needs in our community, we've launched several special projects over the last few months.

We collaborated with the Coalition to End Homelessness, Cool Aid Society and Our Place Society to host two ID Replacement Clinics. Many of our community members are living in extreme poverty, and without basic identification, they cannot access the services and supports they need. ID is a necessary step for housing, employment and support services, and navigating the system can be extremely challenging.

My office also co-hosted a Dementia Friends Workshop with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and the Cook Street Village Activity Centre. The workshop was held to help increase awareness of dementia in our community.

With an aging population, more families and individuals are being impacted by dementia. We can all play a role in supporting those with dementia – whether they’re a friend, a family member or a neighbour. Participants learned ways to understand the signs of dementia and memory loss and how best to approach and assist people who may show these signs.

Thank you to those citizens, businesses, government representatives, unions and non-profits who have taken their time to meet with me over the last while. I have enjoyed the dialogue with representatives from Coast Capital Credit Union, the Victoria Women’s Transition House, Family Services of Greater Victoria, Open Space Gallery, the Greater Victoria Public Library, the Health Care Co-operatives Federation of Canada, the United Way, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, and the Greater Victoria Development Agency, just to name a few.

Ours is a passionate, active, engaged community, and I was honoured to participate in several events this summer and early fall. It was great to see so many people out at Victoria Pride, the Victoria Chinatown Care Centre’s Open House, the Labour Day event at the Legislature, the Vining Street Party on the Plaza, the Recovery Day Rally at Centennial Square, the downtown rally in support of Syrian refugees, and the 2015 Victoria Kidney Walk. I also had the pleasure of sharing a dinner with residents at Anawim House and welcoming new Canadians at a special Citizenship Ceremony.

When government doesn't provide the services people need, or when the system fails them, my office is here to help. We cannot always solve the problems at hand or find a resolution, by my staff does their best to advocate for citizens and to assist them in any way we can.

Here are two recent cases where we managed to make a difference:

“Dasha” came to our office because she was getting billed $72.00 per month in Medical Service Plan (MSP) Premiums, but she was only earning $1,500 a month. My constituency assistants worked with Dasha and get her signed up for Premium Assistance through Health Insurance BC. This stopped the MSP bills, and Dasha was reimbursed for six month worth of the MSP Premiums she had already paid, which totaled $432.00.

“Angelo” contacted our office because his mother “Anna” was not receiving the urgent medical care she needed at the hospital. My staff had Angelo make a complaint through Patient Quality Care, they contacted Island Health, and reached out to Anna’s specialist. By working together we were able to make sure Anna got the care she needed.

My office is here to help. If you need us, we are at:

1084 Fort Street
Victoria, BC V8V 3K4
Phone: 250 952-4211
Carole.James.mla@leg.bc.ca
www.carolejamesmla.ca