B.C. Liberals fail on promise to make B.C. schools earthquake-safe

VANCOUVER – Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberal government  have failed to seismically upgrade a number of B.C. schools this year contrary to their pre-election promises, say B.C.’s New Democrat opposition.“Christy Clark knew what to say before the last election, when she promised 10 schools would be seismically upgraded in the next year, but she didn’t deliver,” said New Democrat opposition  leader John Horgan.

In April 2013, Christy Clark promised 10 high-risk schools would be upgraded in 2013-14. But with the 2014-15 school year well under way, work has only been started on three of them. The B.C. Liberal government promise included $584 million for 45 high-risk schools over three school years.

“The premier knew exactly what people wanted to hear when she said ‘nothing is more important than keeping our kids safe,’ then she did what she wanted. You just can’t take her at her word,” said Horgan. Horgan was joined by New Democrat opposition education spokesperson Rob Fleming and concerned parents on Thursday at Killarney Secondary in Vancouver, one of the schools waiting for an upgrade.

“Clearly, this was just another photo-op announcement from the premier with no follow-through,” said Fleming. “Parents across B.C. send their children to school every morning expecting they will be kept safe. The truth is that more than a hundred schools in B.C. may not withstand a major earthquake and the B.C. Liberal government are not living up to their promise to fix them.”

Fleming added that the rate of actual funding to make schools earthquake-safe has slowed considerably since Premier Clark took office.