Sonia Furstenau Profile picture
Teacher, Mom, BC Greens MLA for Cowichan Valley, House Leader of @bcgreencaucus and Leader of the @BCGreens
Jun 2 6 tweets 4 min read
Telling the truth builds trust. Plain and simple.

As people in BC struggle with overlapping crises this @bcndp gov’t tries to pretend things are fine.

Today I asked @jjhorgan if he could speak honestly about the situation we find ourselves in. He did not answer. 1/ #bcpoli Towns burned down. Roads are yet to be rebuilt. Farmers’ fields are flooded. 597 people died from a heat dome. People can’t afford food, or rent, or gas. People can’t get their cancer test results b/c they have no family doc. Toxic drugs are killing day after day. 2/ #bcpoli
Jun 2 7 tweets 6 min read
We have been raising this issue in the Legislature since February.

Two-tiered healthcare goes against the fundamental principles of the Canadian health system. 1/ #bcpoli #cdnpoli #healthcare #BCHealth theprovince.com/news/local-new… People are being asked to pay $4000+ for “premier” services like full annual check-ups, diagnostics, physiotherapists, and dietitians with Telus Health. This government is allowing healthcare delivery to be corporatized. 2/ #bcpoli #healthcare #BCHealth
May 31 5 tweets 5 min read
I applaud the provincial and federal governments for decriminalizing personal possession of drugs in BC.

The BC Coroners Death Review Panel made it clear that #decriminalization is needed in order to ensure that people can access services without stigma. 1/ #bcpoli #cdnpoli But this announcement comes with a caveat.

BC requested a limit for personal possession of 4.5 g, but the federal government only approved a limit of 2.5g.

Health experts and advocates argued for a higher threshold, based on data and evidence. 2/ #bcpoli #decriminalization
May 30 6 tweets 6 min read
The only thing the @bcndp loves more than blaming others for their problems is patting themselves on the back.

With overlapping crises facing BC we keep getting recycled announcements of capital projects, while many sit empty with no staff. 1/ #bcpoli #BCHealth #healthcare The @bcndp loves to talk about its capital budget, but when it comes to operations, we see big problems. Child care centres w/ no ECEs. Schools scrambling for teachers & EAs.

Our crumbling #healthcare system lacking the doctors and nurses who do the actual care. 2/ #bcpoli #bced
May 10 4 tweets 5 min read
There is no healthcare without #Nurses.

Yet they are forced to work in conditions that aren’t safe or respectful.

Nurses want to keep going, but fear they don’t have anything left to give. 1/
#bcpoli #NurseStaffingCrisis #HelpBCNurses #healthcare @BCNursesUnion Last night @AdamPOlsen and I attended a vigil to mourn the impacts recent years have had on nurses and our #healthcare system.

Today, alongside hundreds of #nurses, we attended their rally in front of the Legislature to demand action and respect. 2/ #bcpoli #NurseStaffingCrisis
May 10 5 tweets 5 min read
In Q1 of 2022, Telus Health increased their revenue by $17 million.

Should a for-profit corporation be generating substantial profits in BC’s publicly funded #healthcare sector?

Today I asked @jjhorgan exactly that. He did not answer. 1/ #bcpoli #Health theglobeandmail.com/business/artic… Minister of Health @AdrianDix responded by saying healthcare in BC is more public than it was 5 years ago.

It’s hard to square the expansion of for-profit corporations in the #healthcare sector with “becoming more public.” 2/ #bcpoli #health
May 10 6 tweets 3 min read
Earlier today we posted this tweet - it was reductionist. Our Caucus apologizes for the confusion.

The low carbon fuel standard is a positive near-term policy to reduce emissions from fossil fuels as we look to eliminate their use. 1/ #bcpoli Trust on #ClimateAction must be earned. This gov't is currently in court fighting to be less transparent & accountable on its emission reductions targets. 2/ #bcpoli
May 9 5 tweets 6 min read
It is #NationalNursingWeek - the @bcndp will take this opportunity to say they support #nurses.

But the reality in BC is that nurses are being denied PPE.

And staffing shortages are resulting in unacceptable nurse-to-patient ratios - actively endangering patients. /1 #bcpoli In 2021, the @BCNursesUnion found:

35% of the #nurses they interviewed were more likely to quit in two years as a result of the pandemic.

82% of BCNU members noted a decline in #MentalHealth during the pandemic and 65% noted a decline in physical health. /2 #bcpoli #Health
Apr 27 5 tweets 5 min read
The IPCC Report states that “shifts to public transport can enhance health, employment, and can elicit energy security and deliver equity.”

I commend the @bcndp for promoting a greener future by enabling transit-oriented development through #Bill16 1/ #bcpoli #Transit Bill 16, the Transportation Amendment Act, grants the BC Transportation Financing Authority the ability to acquire and improve land that supports the development of #housing and amenities near transit stations. Known as Transit-oriented developments (TOD). 2/ #bcpoli #Transit
Apr 26 5 tweets 4 min read
Today I asked @adriandix about this story. @brish_ti writes “it is impossible to figure out how the virus is affecting hospitalizations in real time.” 1/ #bcpoli #COVID19BC People on Vancouver Island are already dealing with a severe family doctor shortage, hours long waits for walk-in clinics, and now hospitals are considering renting hotel rooms for rehabilitation patients. 2/ #bcpoli #COVID19BC
Apr 25 6 tweets 5 min read
Today I asked @AdrianDix about the #familydoctor crisis in BC.

900,000 British Columbians are without primary care, and those with it are finding their access increasingly cut back.

And 40% of BCers are afraid of losing their doctor. 1/ #bcpoli #healthcare #health The @bcndp have opened 27 Urgent and Primary Care Centres as a “solution” to the crisis.

They are quick to open them, but without funding plans or adequate staffing. They’re open limited hours, they fill up quickly, & they gatekeep those who can use them. 2/ #bcpoli #health
Apr 25 5 tweets 4 min read
Today, for the first time since 2019, a Private Member’s Bill was debated in the Legislature.

The Equal Pay Reporting Act tabled by @Stephanie4BC will help eliminate the gender pay gap which sees women in BC earn 32.4% less than men annually. 1/ #bcpoli #PayEquity #GenderPayGap This is an important issue which merits debate, and yet @Stephanie4BC had to introduce the bill 6 times before it was finally debated.

Since 1970, only 15 PMBs have been passed in BC, compared to 6 passed in the past year in the federal House of Commons. /2 #bcpoli #PMBs
Apr 5 5 tweets 4 min read
In what was their final #COVID19 briefing for the foreseeable future our PHO and government have failed to educate British Columbians on the risks of #LongCOVID, of the airborne spread of this virus, and of the benefits of well-fitting & high-quality masks. 1/ #bcpoli #COVID19BC This is a failure to provide essential information to the public, at a time when this government has transferred all responsibility to individuals to try to keep themselves and others safe from #COVID19 infection. 2/ #bcpoli #COVID19BC
Apr 5 4 tweets 4 min read
Mental health care needs to be part of our universal #healthcare system.

Doing so would:

✅ Provide better care for British Columbians
✅ Free up doctors to treat more patients
✅ Save the province money in the long run
1/ #bcpoli #Mentalhealth #health When mental health and mental illness goes untreated, people end up in the healthcare system for their unmet needs.

It adds to the burn out that we see in healthcare workers, it costs the province a lot more money, and it’s making the problem worse. 2/ #bcpoli #Mentalhealth
Apr 4 8 tweets 7 min read
The IPCC is crystal clear:

We must end #fossilfuel development and rapidly scale up the low carbon economy. The world’s best scientists have the ‘tools and the know-how’ to safeguard our future. The factor we are missing is political will. 1/ #bcpoli
bbc.com/news/science-e… Last week in the #BCLeg the @bcndp & @bcliberals MLAs debated a motion on the #LNG industry.

It was a shameful competition as they tried to out-spin one another in their support for fossil fuel subsidies. 2/ #bcpoli #ClimateCrisis
Mar 29 7 tweets 5 min read
This @RCYBC report demonstrates that there's a lack of transparency & accountability in MCFD practice and systems.

This leads to the worst possible outcome: traumatized & underserved children and families, the majority of whom are #Indigenous. 1/ #bcpoli
rcybc.ca/reports-and-pu… .@RCYBC found that MCFD’s funding allocating system is broken. It was impossible for the report writers to connect spending with gov't priorities.

Finding no way to measure the impact of ministry spending on the health & well being of #Indigenous children in care. 2/ #bcpoli
Mar 29 6 tweets 5 min read
Today I asked Premier @jjhorgan what, in a pandemic, his government owes to the people and those who live with them who are medically vulnerable or immunocompromised? The Minister of Health answered instead. 1/ #bcpoli #COVID19BC #COVID19 I ask this because @humanrights4bc sent a letter to the PHO arguing that the mask mandate should remain.

The letter states, “Lifting the mask mandate will do disproportionate harm to those who are already marginalized”. 2/ #bcpoli #COVID19BC bchumanrights.ca/wp-content/upl…
Mar 28 5 tweets 5 min read
Taking the #Cowichan Valley Commuter to #Victoria & back is going to cost you $20 a day.

It only runs in the early morning & evening. It runs 1.5 hours before school starts - no good for parents.

25k cars drive the Malahat per day. This is a policy failure. 1/ #bcpoli #Transit For the vast majority of people, a car is the only option to get between #Cowichan and #Victoria. This is one example of what is clear for many communities: transit is neither affordable nor accessible for many British Columbians. 2/ #bcpoli #PublicTransit
Mar 28 16 tweets 24 min read
I'll be live tweeting the debate on this motion.

As a third party we haven't been given the opportunity to be on the speakers list for the motion. #bcpoli #ClimateCrisis #LNG #oilandgas Debate on #LNG motion begins with BC Liberal MLA Mike Bernier suggesting that BC LNG can “help” with the transition away from coal.
LNG is not a transition fuel. The methane emissions from #fracking intensify the #ClimateEmergency
Mar 10 9 tweets 5 min read
It has been a long 2 years for British Columbians. Many people are eager for the pandemic to be over, and others are still anxious about opening up. 1/ #bcpoli #COVID19BC I am deeply concerned that without a plan for the future and clear information on why we’re making decisions, removing these measures will create more confusion, allow for greater transmission of COVID, and risk distrust in government. 2/ #bcpoli #COVID19BC
Mar 10 5 tweets 5 min read
Today I asked @AdrianDix whether he thinks that having a for-profit corporation that delivers profits to shareholders also delivering healthcare in BC is aligned with the principles of equitable, universal, public health care. 1/ #bcpoli #HealthCare #Health #HealthEquity In BC, access to virtual health care, covered by MSP, is happening through Telus. But at the same time, @TELUSHealth is charging $1000 for annual screenings. But that is not all. 2/ #bcpoli #HealthCare #health