Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes, seen here speaking at a Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce meeting in January 2020, was named Official Opposition Critic for Emergency Preparedness Thursday, Sept. 10. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Cariboo North MLA is new Official Opposition Critic for Emergency Preparedness

Coralee Oakes’s new role was announced Thursday, Sept. 10

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes has a new role as the Official Opposition Critic for Emergency Preparedness.

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson made chances to Official Opposition critic roles Thursday, Sept. 10.

“The emergency preparedness file is so important in a province as environmentally diverse as B.C., so I am very honoured to have been asked to take on this file,” Oakes said in a news release. “With flood and wildfire seasons becoming more intense and frequent, the importance of ensuring government is well prepared to handle emergencies and keep the public safe will be a priority for me in this new role. I understand the long-term impacts of these events and the need for government to ensure they are focusing more on prevention, working closely with all communities and ensuring there is support long after the event to ensure infrastructures such as roads, watersheds and wildlife values are supported and invested in.”

The critic role changes announced Sept. 10 build on the 13 letters and more than 60 policy suggestions introduced by the B.C. Liberals over the last several months to help B.C. combat the effects of COVID-19 on people and the economy and get the province back on track, according to the release from the B.C. Liberal Caucus.

“Coralee Oakes has been a tireless advocate in her region for years, and I look forward to seeing her bring that same passion and dedication as she holds the NDP government to account in her new role as Critic for Emergency Preparedness,” Wilkinson said in the release. “Our renewed direction has been shaped by conversations with thousands of British Columbians in every corner of the province as we developed ideas and solutions to help people, non-profits and small businesses that are all struggling right now. The NDP government has been all talk and no action, so the changes we’ve made today highlight that and build upon our momentum as we continue to fight for a plan that provides opportunity for all of B.C.”

Oakes was elected MLA for Cariboo North in 2013 and again in 2017. Before this new appointment, she sat as Opposition Critic for Small Business, and she previously served as Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch, and Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

READ MORE: Cariboo North MLA shares optimism for 2020

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