VICTORIA, B.C - Today, the Province announced an investment of $10 million to provide free air conditioning for people. Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, has issued the following statement:
“I am relieved to see the BC NDP moving ahead with this necessary step, which will protect some people from increasingly frequent heat events. Moving forward, I urge the government to act quickly and adopt clean air standards for indoor public spaces, which will further protect the health and wellbeing of British Columbians.”
The BC Green Caucus called on the BC NDP to provide cooling units in all social housing and housing for seniors and people with disabilities earlier this summer.
“We are going to continue to see extreme heat events and wildfire smoke as the impacts of climate change intensify,” Furstenau continued. “If we do not take proactive steps to protect people, the results will be disastrous.
“While this is a positive move, it falls short of what's truly needed. Hundreds of thousands of British Columbians live in poverty, and that number is growing. Hundreds of thousands of British Columbians are seniors, and hundreds of thousands are disabled. These people all need cooling units and air filtration, and 8,000 air conditioners over three years will not be enough.
“It’s been two years since 619 people died in the 2021 heat dome. We do those individuals and their families a disservice when we continue to do too little, too late, to protect the public.
“Poor people should be able to survive climate events, too.”
B.C. Green Caucus
+1 250-882-6187 | [email protected]