Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo took a moment in the legislature to honour Salmon Arm “volunteer extraordinaire” Petronella Peach, who died unexpectedly on Monday, May 17, 2021. (Greg Kyllo/Facebook photo)

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo took a moment in the legislature to honour Salmon Arm “volunteer extraordinaire” Petronella Peach, who died unexpectedly on Monday, May 17, 2021. (Greg Kyllo/Facebook photo)

Year in Review: Remembering a year full of everyday heroes

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo reflects on 2021, looks to year ahead

  • Dec. 26, 2021 5:20 a.m.

By Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo

Looking back on another year, I never forget how incredibly honoured I am to continue to serve as the MLA for the Shuswap.

In a year full of so many challenges, it is hard to summarize it in a few hundred words as many moments stood out to me in my duties as your MLA – moments that made me proud of the work I do, the community we come from and support, and the people we are blessed to call our neighbours.

No worker in B.C. should ever have to choose between a paycheck or going to work sick. Serving as the Opposition Critic for Labour, I was proud to play a role in debating paid sick leave for B.C. workers. I was also honoured to pay tribute to the B.C. workers who lost their lives in the workplace on the National Day of Mourning.

Throughout the year, I worked closely with my colleagues in the Official Opposition to hold the NDP government to account on the many crucial issues that have impacted British Columbians this year.

Issues that included calling for a fundamental review of government’s response to the horrific heatwave, wildfires, floods and climate disasters that have ravaged our communities, advocating on behalf of British Columbians for greater government transparency, and joining the voices of thousands of families who have opposed government’s decision to remove individual autism funding from B.C. children and families.

Read more: MLA Greg Kyllo honours Salmon Arm’s late ‘volunteer extraordinaire’

Read more: Shuswap MLA shares wildfire response, recovery concerns with B.C. Legislature

But one of my favourite roles as an MLA was the many opportunities I got throughout the year to recognize the many heroes we are blessed to have within and outside of our communities, including the Tsuts’weye Women’s Entrepreneur and Innovation Network which supports women-owned or women-led enterprises and the start-ups, the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Branch 106 out of Sicamous, the two incredible sniffer dogs – Major and Kilo – who help our conservation officers keep our waterways and ecosystems free of invasive species. I was also honoured to speak in the house about a few of our many local heroes like Eugene Casavant, who helped turn Shuswap Lake General Hospital into a fundamental healthcare centre for the region, and Petronella Peach, whose incredible work helped raise awareness and support to help fight diabetes for decades.

And of course, we must never forget and always honour the bravery and tireless work of our many frontline health-care and essential workers who have done so much to keep our communities safe throughout the many challenges this year has thrown at us.

This year, every member of the Shuswap had to be a hero in some small way, whether it was by checking on a neighbour, offering clothes, food and shelter to those in need, or simply doing whatever they could to support our essential workers and keep our economy moving forward. The spirit of selflessness, bravery, and community that is around us gives me incredible hope for the New Year and makes me forever proud to call the Shuswap home.

So from my family to yours, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays and every success in the New Year.
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