Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok is back in the riding this week after a very busy time in Victoria.
Clovechok says he was honoured to be appointed to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, which will tour the province in June to poll British Columbians on fiscal priorities for the next budget.
The committee is comprised of three NDP MLAs and three BC Liberals. Clovechok say that as far as he knows he is the first rural MLA to be appointed to the committee.
“It’s going to be a ton of work, but also a great experience,” he said. He says he tries to work across the aisle as much as possible.
While in the home riding this week, Clovechok met with seniors around health transportation issues and trans-boundary health care access.
“It’s got to change,” he said, adding that he will be meeting with the Minister regarding promises made on providing some sort of replacement for the lack of bus service in rural communities.
“There is zero service in rural areas to get you anywhere,” he said.
Another issue Clovechok is in disagreement with is the new procedures in the Agricultural Land Commission. The province is now going to be only one zone rather than two and Clovechok says that’s a slap in the face of rural BCers.
“Going from two zones to one, we know that doesn’t work. We don’t have the rich agricultural land here. In the Lower Mainland, it’s different. We’ve got lots of rock. I’ve invited the Minister to come visit and put a shovel in the ground. See how long it takes before he hits rock.”
Clovechok also has issues with the fact that landowners cannot privately apply for exemption from the ALR anymore. He says they now must approach the regional district or first nations government and ask them to apply in their stead.
“It’s another way for the state to control private land,” he said.