While another heat wave sizzles British Columbia, questions remain about the apathy by public officials toward the record-breaking “heat dome” in the last week of June.
The hottest June weekend in 96 years taxed emergency responders and hospitals, and led to the deaths of at least 569 people. While frontline workers had their hands full, politicians were nowhere to be seen.
The calendar and email for the mayor of the province’s biggest city are further evidence that Vancouver’s Kennedy Stewart did not take any active role in responding to the weather emergency — despite the early 2019 declaration by his council of a symbolic climate change emergency.
Stewart’s only June 25 appointment was a meeting with NDP Childcare Minister Katrina Chen.
June 26 and 27 were blank.
On June 28, he met with development lobbyists from the Urban Land Institute, city manager Paul Mochrie, Attorney General and Housing Minister David Eby and a follow-up meeting on a potential 2030 Winter Olympics bid.
There was no meeting specific to the heat wave.
theBreaker.news wanted to see all of Stewart’s email for June 25-29, 2021 that contains the words heat, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, temperature, weather, hot weather, heat wave, heat dome, Environment Canada, climate change, and forecast.
Under the freedom of information law, Vancouver city hall released 49 pages — 18 of which were pages from the Vancouver Sun website. SEE THE DOCUMENTS BELOW.
Stewart received email on June 24 from a person asking for an amnesty on Downtown Eastside street sweeps and park bylaws enforcement during the heat wave.
The June 25 reply came from Stewart’s email account, but contained the signature for “senior legislative advisor” Laurie MacLean.
Otherwise, the only other heat emergency-related email released to theBreaker.news comprised of Vancouver Coastal Health bulletins. One was the June 25, 6:30 p.m. declaration of an extreme heat alert. The other was a June 28 notice that the heat wave had postponed coronavirus vaccination and testing appointments at the West End Community Centre and Vancouver Community College.
Environment Canada issued numerous warnings several days in advance of the June 25-29 heat wave that temperatures would put the very young, very old and people with chronic illness at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
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