WITH temperatures skyrocketing across B.C. and thousands of vulnerable British Columbians put at risk, it’s become clear the NDP’s free air conditioner program has so far been a resounding failure, BC United said on Tuesday.
“After more than 600 people were killed by a deadly heatwave two years ago, there is no sign that the NDP is taking their promise to do better seriously,” said Shirley Bond, BC United Critic for Health. “Unfortunately, as our province faces another scorching and dangerous heat wave, the NDP has failed to ensure people have access to the cooling measures they need to stay safe. In fact, the NDP’s much-discussed free air conditioner program has managed to install only 12 per cent of the 3,000 units that have been applied for. Thousands of people have been left waiting for the potentially lifesaving help the NDP government promised to them.”
The BC United pointed out that since announcing the program, the BC NDP has only installed 360 free air conditioners, while more than 3,000 applications have been received. This program was created to address some of the concerns arising from the NDP government’s response the head dome in 2021, which claimed the lives of more than 600 people in B.C.
“Following the tragedy of 2021, British Columbians expected this NDP government to make preventing heat-related fatalities a greater priority,” said Karin Kirkpatrick, BC United Critic for Housing. “However, the creation and implementation of this air conditioner program has clearly demonstrated the NDP is not able to meet the needs of people in B.C. Aside from the NDP’s slow rollout of the program, there are also significant administrative barriers that are preventing this help from getting to those who need it most. British Columbians deserve better.”