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LETTER: Heat wave should be high priority for local governments

Last year, more than 600 people died in our province from hot weather conditions…

To the Editor,

How seriously does our region take heat stroke and deaths due to high heat conditions?

Last year, more than 600 people died in our province from hot weather conditions.

We have had very high heat conditions this week. In fact, as usual, we were one of the hot spots on Vancouver Island last week and yet Environment Canada did not issue heat warnings for Port Alberni on those three days, but did issue heat warnings for Nanaimo, Comox and other much cooler areas of Vancouver Island. Why is that? Does that make sense to you, in a community of mostly retired and low income people?

We pay hundreds of thousands in property taxes to the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District for emergency planning, but there is nothing on their website about cooling centres or assistance for the elderly living in homes without air conditioners or even a fan to keep cool in the deadly heat we are, and have been, experiencing. Are high heat and heat stroke not emergencies?

Couldn’t the ACRD have portable fans that could be loaned to the elderly who don’t have one, can’t find one, can’t afford one or aren’t mobile or healthy enough to leave their home on these hot days, now becoming our new normal?

The ACRD website doesn’t even have information of cooling centres in our area, or assistance to those without the mobility to get there.

Thomas Gowan,

Beaver Creek