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The “Big One”: We’re STILL NOT Ready

STJ1👤 By Shawn J. ¦ Founding Editor, Calling Out Community
Posted May 21, 2016Updated June 5, 2016.
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On the afternoon of Monday, May 12, 2008, a massive earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale, rocked China. The epicenter was Wenchuan County, Sichuan, northwest of Chengdu. Of 500 elementary school students here, 241 were killed.

On the afternoon of Monday, May 12, 2008, a massive earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale, rocked China. The epicenter was Wenchuan County, Sichuan, northwest of Chengdu. Of 500 elementary school students here, 241 were killed.

Nearly a year after posting our original article,  “The ‘Big One’: We’re NOT Ready” its clear the Government of British Columbia is playing chicken against the possibility of a massive earthquake striking the West Coast of Canada – and your kids lives are the pawns in this deadly game.

May 25, 2014

I noted in their 2014 report of the Seismic Mitigation Program that:

“Since 2001 [the government has] spent or committed $2.2 billion to seismically upgrade or replace 213 high-risk schools. It will cost a further $600 million to address the remaining 104 high-risk schools in the province.”

At 4:30 AM on September 4, 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck Canterbury, New Zealand. This school was scheduled for seismic upgrading not yet completed. It was completely destroyed - thankfully before kids came to class that Monday.

At 4:30 AM on September 4, 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck Canterbury, New Zealand. This school was scheduled for seismic upgrading not yet completed. It was completely destroyed – thankfully before kids came to class that Monday.

May 31, 2015

I was therefore very surprised (and frankly, a little miffed) to read the same website introduction in 2015:

Over the past decade, the government has spent or committed $2.2 billion to seismically upgrade or replace 214 high-risk schools The remainder, 125 high-risk schools in the province, are still to be addressed.”

May 21, 2016

I AM NOW FURIOUS to read the same website introduction in 2015:

“Since launching the seismic program we have spent $1.12 billion to complete 153 high risk seismic projects. We currently have another $560 million allocated for high risk seismic projects in our 3 year capital plan. The remainder, 128 high-risk schools in the province, are still to be addressed.”

Furniture scattered across a classroom in the Napa Christian Campus of Education in Napa, California, United States after a 6.0 earthquake struck on Sunday, August 24.

Furniture scattered across a classroom in the Napa Christian Campus of Education in Napa, California, United States after a 6.0 earthquake struck on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 3:20 AM.

Alright, are you seeing it too? They are playing games with the numbers – and your kids’lives are at stake!

  1.  How much have they actually spent?  In 2014 and 2015, they kept talking about this $2.2 billion amount – but note that it said “spent or committed” each year – and this year have finally come clean and admitted they have $1.12 billion since starting the program in 2001!  That’s literally 1/2 of what they kept discussing before.  That’s not even $100 million a year.  Then they state they have committed another $560 million over 3 years!  That sounds like a lot, but it comes to $1.68 billion – so what happened to the initial $2.2 billion committed – do they think it actually makes sense to CUT the budget by $600 million?
  2. In 2014, they said they were working on 213 schools, and in 2015 they said 214.  Now they admitted in 2015 that completed 153 of them.  What the hell?  60 schools just disappeared off this “must-do list”?  Unreal.
  3. In 2014, they stated that there were 104 schools left to do.  In 2015, it grew to 125.  It’s grown again to 128.  That only makes sense the longer they leave it.  But what happened to the 60 schools in point #2 that just got dumped from the completed list?
When a major earthquake hit Dujiangyan City, about 900 students and teachers were buried when its school building collapsed, and more than 240 were confirmed dead on May 26, 2008.

When a major earthquake hit Dujiangyan City, about 900 students and teachers were buried when its school building collapsed, and more than 240 were confirmed dead on May 26, 2008.

Vancouver had the first tremor I’ve ever experienced in my life on December 30, 2015 – and though it was just 4.9 on the Richter scale, it shook my building with some significant ferocity and scared the crap out of me.

The “Big One” is coming.  Everyone says it’s coming.  Our provincial government is playing chicken with your kids’ safety by hoping/assuming it will be some day, in the far future.

If it’s tomorrow, I commit to digging the kids out of the schools in my area that are flattened by this nightmare.  And the next day, we can march on the BC Legislature and areset the entire Cabinet for crimes against humanity.

15 years they have worked on this and they aren’t taking it seriously.  That spent as much in ONE year on the new roof for BC Place as they did for nearly 4 years of school upgrades.

It’s time we get serious about this.  Everyday people across Greater Vancouver kiss their kids goodbye and release them to a school that may fall on them later that same day.

You buy insurance for your home, your car, even vacation property at times – but the insurance needed to protect your kids is sadly lacking.  Thank God they’ll soon be out of these potential death traps for the summer.

Let’s hope the Big One will have the decency to strike when no one is in harm’s way.


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