Legislature waits for school seismic upgrades

The B.C. legislature doesn't meet building code standards for fire and seismic protection

VICTORIA – Ministers headed into their first cabinet meeting with Premier Christy Clark Wednesday, well aware that the stately limestone legislature needs major repairs and is a deathtrap in a major earthquake.

This week the B.C. government finally released a 2006 study on the state of the legislative buildings. It confirms that there is no comprehensive plan to maintain and strengthen the legislature and other buildings on the grounds, built in the late 19th century.

The report notes that despite upgrades in the 1970s and 1980s, the legislature does not meet B.C. building codes related to earthquake and fire risk. It says the copper roof domes are “in poor condition,” and parts of the building such as parapet caps, roofing and glazing are “failing.”

The report estimated the cost of repairs at more than $140 million, with millions more to upgrade adjacent buildings known as the armouries, premier’s garage and bunker.

Shirley Bond, named this week at public safety minister, said the legislature precinct is the responsibility of Speaker Bill Barisoff. Barisoff has said the public expects the B.C. government to complete its seismic upgrades of schools around the province before major work is done at the legislature.

The education ministry is in the midst of a 15-year, $1.5 billion program to upgrade school structures.

Its latest progress report shows that 90 projects are complete, mainly in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. Another 21 are under construction, with 10 more projects preparing to start.

Just Posted

Tweedsmuir Park wildfires grow to encompass more than 200,000 hectares

Four fires now managed under one as Tweedsmuir Complex, evacation orders and alerts still in place

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Most Read