The fall session of the legislature has come to an end, wrapping up another busy season both in Victoria and here at home.
On the home front, I’m most excited about the announcement last month of the construction of Enderby Memorial Terrace, a 36-unit affordable housing complex that has been a long time in the making – going back to 2013 with a visit from Ralph Sultan, who was then the Minister of State for Seniors.
I would like to congratulate the Enderby Seniors Housing Society – and Barry Fawcett and Peter Gilowski in particular – for their work in serving seniors in Enderby.
The Province of B.C. is providing the land for the expansion, and BC Housing and the society will develop the plan for construction.
I’m also thrilled with the announcement a few weeks ago that two school upgrading projects are taking place in School District 83. Hillcrest Elementary in Salmon Arm received $505,000 to replace its heating system. The new ground-source heat pump will save 58 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually and reduce energy costs by $12,400 a year. Meanwhile, Pleasant Valley Secondary received $140,000 for a control system upgrade that will improve comfort for students and staff and be more energy efficient.
A busy month of November also included my involvement in the Remembrance Day service in Armstrong, a site visit to McIntyre Creek where the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is doing important work to repair landslide damage, and speaking at the Industrial Training Authority road-builder and heavy-equipment operator grad ceremony.
The Salvation Army’s familiar Christmas kettles are a sure sign that we are in the season of giving.
You will see the clear plastic “bubbles” from now until Christmas Eve at up to seven locations around Salmon Arm – all staffed by local volunteers.
Last year the kettles and Christmas Appeal raised $120,000, filling 725 hampers.
Community services co-ordinator David Byers expects the Salvation Army to fill at least as many this December, providing a full turkey dinner to those in need, plus toys for children.
While the kettle campaign has been an annual event in Salmon Arm for the past 20 years, the kettles have been a familiar sight across Canada for more than 100 years.
The first kettle campaign in Canada was in St. John’s, N.L., in 1906. Today, there are 2,000 kettles in cities nationwide, making the kettle campaign one of our country’s best-loved and most recognizable charity events.
The Salmon Arm Salvation Army’s annual Christmas dinner for the less fortunate is Dec. 23 at 11:30 a.m. at 191 Second Ave. NE., with up to 140 people expected.
Please donate whatever you can whenever you pass the kettles when you’re in Salmon Arm this Christmas season. There are no kettle campaigns in Sicamous, Enderby or Armstrong, but food drives are happening in each community to fill Christmas hampers.
In Enderby and Armstrong, realtors will be going door to door collecting for their community food banks on Dec. 2, starting at 5 p.m.
In Sicamous, the Eagle Valley Community Support Society is collecting donations of food and accepting applications for Christmas hampers for families in Sicamous and Malakwa. The application deadline is Dec. 9.
And don’t forget to bring a non-perishable food item when you meet the popular CP Holiday Train on Dec. 16. An annual Shuswap tradition, the train stops at its usual locations in Sicamous, Salmon Arm and Notch Hill.
Please give generously this Christmas season. Together, we can make a difference for so many Shuswap families.
Just a reminder that our office will be closed from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4. Best wishes for a joyous Christmas and prosperous New Year!
-Greg Kyllo is the Member of the B.C. Legislative Assembly for the Shuswap.