Dear Editor:

As British Columbians celebrate B.C. Day next Monday, it is important to be reminded what it means, how we got here and what lays ahead.   

How many are planning on long weekend barbecue, an extra day camping or anafternoon at the beach knowing that in 1974 Dave Barrett established B.C. Day to honour B.C. pioneers. 

We should also be reminded that long before Europeans arrived almost 300 years ago, First Nation’s peoples occupied and flourished in the pristine wilderness of what is now British Columbia including the Okanagan. 

Fast forward to August 2, 1858 and Westminster Parliament’s proclamation of the Crown colony of British Columbia. As a province rich with natural resources, we never looked back. 

The truth is we are extensions of our past with values learned that help guide our future — passed on to future generations. I believe profoundly the most important challenge we face is climate change and the impact on future generations.That is not to dismiss many other important issues we face, but our potential extinction as a species must be our paramount concern. 

With the pending federal election, we celebrate B.C. Day knowing we must send a message to Ottawa that will take on the challenges of climate change but with the spirit and fervour of our indigenous people’s affinity to Canada’s natural history. 

I will celebrate B.C. Day with my eyes on what my grandchildren will inherit knowing that the morning after the next federal election there is so much work for all of us to do. 

Joan Phillip 

NDP Candidate

Central Okanagan-Similkameen Nicola