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BC NDP demands more seismic upgrades at local schools

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – As people took part in the Great BC Shakeout today, the BC NDP is demanding more action from the province to seismically upgrade local schools, something it claims the province has failed to do.

Leader John Horgan tells us the premier has earmarked $584 million to fix 45 high-risk schools over the next three years, but says that hasn’t happened yet.

“It’s another failing grade for the premier… saying what she thinks people want to hear and then doing something completely different. She’s away on a trade mission now and I support that, but there is work to be done back here.”

“We’re going to press them in the Legislature when it starts again next week, but again, the premier can say the right things but she doesn’t seem to be able to follow up. Certainly, in Vancouver and New Westminster — and the older school districts where we have decaying and failing facilities — the government shouldn’t make promises that they can’t keep.”

The Liberals claim since 2001, $2.2 billion has been spent to fix more than 200 schools and work is underway on 10 others. However, it thinks it will cost another $600 millon to address another 126 high-risk schools.

Catherine Shaw, who has two young children in a school still awaiting upgrades, is frustrated. “It’s complete disregard for the safety of children to not speed this up. Why is it taking BC so long?”

She and her parent advisory council have raised enough money to outfit every classroom in her kids’ school with an earthquake emergency preparedness kit.