MLA says 2023 marked by several notable achievements

MLA looks back at 2023

As 2023 drew to a close, I found myself immersed in thoughtful reflection, contemplating a year that has been a tapestry of significant achievements and formidable challenges for Kelowna.

In my role as the MLA for Kelowna-Mission, the journey has been nothing short of extraordinary, characterized by fervent advocacy, deepening community connections and strategic planning aimed at shaping a future that confronts our most pressing issues head-on.

The past year cannot be recounted without a special mention of the summer fires. Those events called for extraordinary measures, and I extend my deepest gratitude to the firefighters, RCMP and first responders, volunteers and elected officials. Their unyielding bravery and commitment in the face of adversity was nothing less than heroic, perfectly encapsulating the indomitable spirit of Kelowna. That ordeal not only tested our resilience but also reinforced our collective strength and unity.

The year was also marked by several notable achievements, which I am honoured to have contributed to. The organization of town halls and active participation in dialogues with constituents was instrumental in identifying and addressing the needs of our community. They resulted in action as I initiated an URBA-on-call team, efforts to resolve childcare issues and shared leadership in the watershed roundtable. Those mark critical milestones in our quest to meet urban challenges and promote environmental stewardship.

Those initiatives stemmed directly from the specific concerns raised by the people of Kelowna, and demonstrated my commitment to responsive and responsible governance.

But there were so many more needs facing Kelowna, with issues being multifaceted and complex.

A significant portion of my work last year was dedicated to holding the government accountable for various pressing concerns—the escalating cost of living, the scarcity of affordable housing, public safety and the challenges plaguing our healthcare system.

In the Legislative Assembly, I was a vocal advocate for policies that specifically addressed those concerns, ensuring the voices of Kelowna’s residents were not just heard but also acted upon effectively. Please see my website reneemerrifieldmla.com or on my YouTube channel for more information and videos of my work in the legislative assembly.

Looking forward, I am resolutely committed to developing and implementing policies that will tangibly improve the lives of those in Kelowna. Addressing economic challenges, crafting sustainable housing strategies, and reforming the healthcare system are paramount on the BC United agenda. Those objectives are not merely policy aspirations, they are crucial steps towards fostering a more prosperous and livable Kelowna for everyone.

Reflecting on the accomplishments and hurdles of the past year fills me with an invigorated sense of purpose. The experiences of 2023 have only served to strengthen my determination to serve our community with heightened zeal and dedication.

As we step into 2024, I am unwaveringly committed to advocating for the needs of Kelowna, to tackling our challenges head-on and to striving relentlessly for a future that holds promise and prosperity for all our residents.

I extend my heartfelt thanks for your unwavering support and trust. Together, we will endeavour to make the upcoming year a period of substantial positive change and progress for Kelowna. Happy New Year and here’s to an amazing 2024.

My question to you this week is this:

What do you want on the top of my agenda for 2024?

I love hearing from you and read every email you write. Please email me at [email protected] or call the office at 250-712-3620.

Renee Merrifield is the BC United MLA for Kelowna-Mission.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Renee Merrifield is the BC United MLA for Kelowna - Mission and the Opposition critic for Environment and Climate Change, as well as Gender, Equity and Inclusion.  She currently serves on the Select Standing Committee for Finance as well.

A long-time resident of Kelowna, Renee started, and continues to lead, many businesses from construction and development to technology. Renee is a compassionate individual who cares about others in the community, believes in giving back and helping those in need through service.

She values your feedback and conversation, and can be reached at [email protected] or 250.712.3620

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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