Remarks by Finance Minister Selina Robinson in the B.C. Legislature on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.
Hon. S. Robinson: I rise today with some sad news. Katherine McParland, a well-known and well-loved resident of the Kamloops community and a good friend of mine, passed away suddenly this weekend.
I first heard of this remarkable young woman when I was Housing Minister and saw an article in the Kamloops local paper about the work she was doing. Shane Simpson, the Minister of Social Development at the time, and I invited her to make a presentation about the work she was doing.
She shared her story of bouncing around the foster care system for most of her childhood. It was followed, as she aged out of that system, by years of homelessness. It was from this that she was able to find her calling. After Shane and I met with her, we introduced her to the Minister of Children and Family Development, the member for Kootenay West, so that she, too, could hear from Katherine’s experience and her wisdom. I know that the members from Kamloops who are here in this House knew her well also.
Katherine was unwavering in purpose and committed to lasting change. She’d lived experience, and she married that with academic rigour by completing her master’s degree earlier this year. In the few years that I have known her, she became the co-chair of the B.C. Coalition to End Youth Homelessness. She became a member of the federal Advisory Committee on Homelessness, and she became a dedicated member of the board of B.C. Housing.
Katherine was courageous and warm, compassionate, thoughtful and funny. She had an ability to draw people to her that would help her in her mission. Someone on social media this weekend noted that she had social chutzpah. I think that’s a completely accurate description of her.
I will miss her midday texts asking if I had a moment for a check-in. She would often say that she was in awe that she had the ability to talk with ministers of the Crown and do work with the ministers.
I can really say, and I think I speak on behalf of my colleagues and all members of this House, those that knew her, that the truth is that we were the ones who were actually in awe of her.
I ask the House to join me in recognizing Katherine’s efforts on behalf of British Columbians and the tragedy of her untimely passing with just a brief moment of reflection on how we can honour her work and legacy on behalf of vulnerable youth through our work as legislators here in this place.
May her memory be for a blessing.
Source: B.C. Hansard.