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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — North Peace MLA Dan Davies held his annual Christmas Open House on Thursday and reflected on the last year.

The open house took place at Davies’ constituency office in Fort St. John on December 1st and was attended by many community members, including mayor Lilia Hansen, and councillors Tony Zabinsky, Sarah MacDougall and Jim Lequiere.

Davies said this was the first open house he had been able to hold since before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“People are wanting to get out now and do things,” said Davies. “And ‘tis the season, it’s a great time to do it, to have these open houses.” 

Davies called 2022 an interesting year. He recalled a busy year with the BC Liberal Party — now called BC United — electing a new party leader, Kevin Falcon, and the new premier, David Eby, being sworn in. 

He spoke further on some of the major issues worked on this year. Among mentions of health care and the resource sector, Davies also mentioned his advocacy for a new Taylor Bridge. 

Davies said that he’s been advocating for the replacement of the bridge since 2017. 

“It is still safe. It’s structurally sound. But the level of maintenance that’s required to keep the bridge like that is, it’s getting ridiculous now,” Davies said. 

When asked about his biggest success this year, Davies said it was the Electoral Boundary Commission

“My riding’s already the size of three small European countries,” Davies said. “I think one of our biggest successes was that we did protect the rural and interior ridings right across British Columbia.” 

Davies said he was disappointed with the lack of response from the government concerning health care. He said that he, his colleagues, and other local politicians have been calling for an audit for a year and a half now on Northern Health. 

“And that is something that I think we really need to do, and it’s not to be critical of anything, but how do we do things better?” Davies said. “You need that outside [perspective] to look at any kind of a system and to look at best practices elsewhere. How do we match up against that?”

He continued, saying that health care is something he wants to continue working towards and advocating for moving forward. 

Davies is also a member of the Select Standing Committee of Health with the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, which recently released a report on the drug toxicity crisis.

Overall, Davies said he is optimistic about the future looking forward. 

“I really do think things are gonna be pretty good.”

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Katherine Caddel is a recent graduate of Laurentian University's English Media and Rhetoric program. They grew up in Northern Ontario and recently decided to make the North Peace their new home. When not at work, Katherine enjoys horror movies, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons.