Home Editorials Opinion-Editorial Jan 2023: Westshore MLA Mitzi Dean reflects on the year ahead

Jan 2023: Westshore MLA Mitzi Dean reflects on the year ahead

Reflecting on 2022 progress, as 2023 unfolds

mitzi dean, transition house
Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin) emceed the announcement of the west shore Victoria Women's Transition House, Nov 4, 2022. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Monday January 16, 2023 | COLWOOD, BC

OPINION-EDITORIAL by Mitzi Dean, MLA (Esquimalt-Metchosin) | Published by Island Social Trends

As we begin 2023, I’m looking back at last year and reflecting on our community’s accomplishments, and the progress our government has made in our community and across BC.

Last year we faced challenges with rising global inflation and increased cost of living, and healthcare, including the ongoing effects of the global pandemic.

mitzi dean, mla, nov 2021
Minister of Children and Family Development Mitzi Dean (MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin) was very pleased to announce the new Westshore Community Health Centre that opened in Spring 2022 [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends / Nov 12, 2021]

Cost of living, housing & health care:

But we have also seen continued support within our communities, as well as a strong economic recovery of our province as we weather the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to tackle the cost of living and health services.

Across BC, people are facing high costs of rent or to buy a home, and a lack of housing options that suit their needs. Our community is no different. Our government knows we need more housing, and more affordable options. In the summer, we announced $14.5 million for the development of almost 140 new affordable rental homes in a new building planned for 874 Fleming Street in Esquimalt. This will include three- and four-bedroom options for families and loved ones to live together.

mitzi dean, july 2022
MLA Mitzi Dean at the announcement of 140 affordable homes in Esquimalt, July 2022.

We also often hear from community members facing challenges accessing primary and urgent healthcare to serve their needs. In June, we opened our new Westshore Community Health Centre in Colwood.

Though there is still more to do, this health centre has already helped serve the health needs of thousands of community members, and relieved pressure on the clinics and hospitals in our region, including the UPCCs on Goldstream and in Esquimalt.

There are some other great projects and initiatives that came into place which, will make this year ahead very exciting for our communities.

mitzi dean
Local MLA Mitzi Dean (Esquimalt-Metchosin) was the emcee for the August 3, 2022 west shore campus announcement. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Places to gather and learn:

As our community comes back together, having spaces for people to gather is key. I’m looking forward to the opening of the Craigflower Community and Performing Arts Centre, an initiative that has been spearheaded by the Highland Games Association and supported by our government. The new Esquimalt branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library opened up in spring 2022, which will continue to provide exceptional service and resources to people in the region.

In August, I was excited to be a part of the team that announced the new collaborative post-secondary campus coming to the Westshore. This will serve local students and help prepare the next generation entering the workforce through collaboration between Royal Roads, UVic, Camosun, the Justice Institute, and School District 62.

mitzi dean, craigflower
MLA Mitzi Dean at the Craigflower Community Centre opening, Jan 19, 2023. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Shifting municipal landscape:

We also welcomed new mayors and councils in many municipalities across our region – I’m looking forward to working with these new elected officials, and I offer my deep gratitude to the outgoing elected officials for their service to our communities.

New premier:

On the provincial level, we also said goodbye and thank you to John Horgan as he chose to end his time as Premier, and we welcomed David Eby into the role as our new Premier. I’ve been thrilled to get to work with David and the team on the issues that matter most to British Columbians. There’s lots more progress to make in the year ahead, and we’re hitting the ground running.

ravi kahlon, mitzi dean
Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon and Minister of Children and Family Development Mitzi Dean, at the Cabinet swearing-in Dec 7, 2022 at Government House. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Community office:

As we begin this new year, I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2023. My community office team and I are looking forward to serving you in the year ahead.


Mitzi Dean is MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin, a BC provincial riding on south Vancouver Island which includes the municipal areas of Esquimalt, Metchosin, Colwood and View Royal. The population is about 51,450.

Dean was first elected in May 2017 and re-elected in October 2020.

===== RELATED:

Transition housing celebrated in the west shore emceed by MLA Mitzi Dean (Nov 4, 2022)

Indigenous self-government in child and family services led by Minister Mitzi Dean (Nov 3, 2022)

Mitzi Dean pleased about constituency accomplishments during the pandemic (Feb 20, 2022)

JDF Child Care Centre responds to community demand (Jan 17, 2022)

Esquimalt UPCC opens at permanent new location (Dec 6, 2021)

New Westshore Community Health Centre will ‘make a dent’ serving 6,700 patients (Nov 12, 2021)

Mitzi Dean: investments in school playgrounds & ventilation (Sept 15, 2021)

Mitzi Dean co-chairing new panel on Children & Youth with Support Needs (Jan 27, 2021)

Mitzi Dean: government stands with those who need it most (March 8, 2020)


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Island Social Trends is a local and regional news service in the west shore of south Vancouver Island.

This journalism service has been operating since 2008 in the west shore, under the direction of editor and publisher Mary P Brooke: first as MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, then Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, then West Shore Voice News 2014-2020, then emerging fully online mid-2020 at islandsocialtrends.ca

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Mary P Brooke, Editor, Island Social Trends