VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, a report was released to the Chief Coroner on the heat-related deaths that occurred during the heat dome last year. Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, has released the following statement:
“This report is essential to mitigate further heat-related deaths” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “This report confirmed that vulnerable populations experienced disproportionate deaths, including those with mental illnesses, substance use disorders, asthma, diabetes, and low-mobility people.
“This report makes it clear that we failed to protect our most vulnerable during the heat dome. It is likely that we will see more extreme heat events moving forward, and we would expect to see this government come out with a plan to protect these vulnerable people. Instead, this government announced a heat preparedness guide that essentially told British Columbians they’ll be on their own. A government focused on avoiding deaths in the face of deadly weather events would not take a full year to develop a "self-care" guide.
“Telling British Columbians to purchase air conditioners, heat pumps, thermal blinds, fans, and digital thermometers is out of touch with the cost of living in this province. The BC NDP haven’t offered programs to assist low-income and vulnerable people to purchase these tools, nor developed a coordinated plan to get low-mobility people to cooling centres.
“Implementing heat alerts through the Alert Ready system is important. The BC NDP must now follow through on the remaining recommendations - identifying vulnerable populations like seniors and disabled people, and implementing extreme heat prevention and mitigation strategies - and work with First Nations and local governments as outlined in the report.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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