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Earthquake should kick-start seismic upgrades for schools: Education school board chair

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Some our most vulnerable buildings to earthquakes are occupied by our kids, as schools in the Lower Mainland still need seismic upgrades.

So, there are calls for the Christy Clark Liberals to make good on the promises of the past.

In 2005, Gordon Campbell and his Liberal government promised to upgrade schools throughout the province by 2020.

Former Vancouver School Board Chair Patti Bacchus says the process has been much more expensive than first thought, but still needs to be done.

“The upgrade process is moving forward, but it is moving forward very slowly and we’re not going to make that original target date of 2020 that was part of the BC Liberals under Gordon Campbell.”

Bacchus says we were lucky that this quake was during the holidays and wasn’t strong enough to do serious damage, but the next one could be during the school day and could be devastating.

“If we get a magnitude, even a 6.5 or a 7 on a school day. We may be looking at some really tragic outcomes.”

Bacchus says hopefully this will be a lesson to Christy Clark and company that these projects need to be finished as soon as possible.

“Thank goodness it wasn’t a stronger earthquake, but at least if it was, it would have been on a holiday in the evening when the schools would have been unoccupied.”

She knows the upgrades will be expensive, but believes nothing is more valuable than our children.