I am devastated that we began this decade with news of the overwhelming destruction caused by the Australian bush fires. Over 18 million hectares have burned, people have lost their homes and in some cases their lives, and it is estimated that over one billion animals have died. This sort of destruction is almost unimaginable. My thoughts are with the Australian people, and the brave men and women who are risking their lives to fight these fires.

We, as residents of BC, know the uncertainty and devastation that comes with natural disasters all too well. The flooding in 2018, and BC’s 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons, will not be forgotten soon. The environmental, economic, and personal impacts permanently left their mark on our province. I can only imagine the scope of hardship facing thousands of Australians right now as they try to rebuild. If you wish to donate to Australian fire relief please contact the Canadian Red Cross or your preferred charity.

The escalating intensity of fire season is becoming all too common on our planet. Scientists agree that over the past century, there has been a long-term increase in the severity and length of fire seasons. This has been made clear over the past few years in many provinces, states, and countries around the world such as the Amazon and California. Due to the effects of climate change and global warming, this will only get worse.

Now is the time for unity and for government action on climate issues. I believe that we must all work together to support each other through incredibly hard times such as these, and to work too slow and prevent these kinds of tragedies. I look forward to representing the people of my riding and advocating for action on these issues to government.