Victoria earthquake an urgent wake-up call

The editorial by Benjamin Perrin in the Globe & Mail of January 8, 2016 entitled, “Victoria earthquake an urgent wake-up call” puts forward this scathing review and call to action:

“It is unconscionable that Premier Christy Clark’s government, which is ultimately responsible for the safety of our schools and hospitals and earthquake preparations, has been unable to get this job done. Progress has been lethargic and half-hearted. The Premier needs to make it a top priority, with tight timelines and funding on the table. Her government might look to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a hand with these major infrastructure investments.”

Perrin points out that, “dozens of schools, attended by thousands of children, are ranked as “high risk,” meaning that their century-old brick-and-mortar construction would collapse like a house of cards, killing and injuring students, teachers and staff if the quake struck while school is in session. Most of the handful of seismically upgraded or rebuilt schools are at full enrolment. Progress on making the others safer is slow – or not happening.”

Publicly funded schools in Canada are a critical element of our society’s infrastructure. All levels of government in this country must prioritize fixing our schools.