Liberal caucus sets up all-party committee to respond to emergencies – Aldergrove Star
Langley Advance Times offers this weekly feature called “At Your Service”.
This is another forum to ask questions of our local politicians on the main issues facing our community and its residents.
Using a basic question-and-answer format, elected officials will be asked one question at a time and will have the opportunity to respond (up to a maximum of 250 words) on that question.
Alternating between elected groups, Langley Township and Township Councils, Langley School Board, Langley MLAs and Langley MLAs each have the opportunity to participate.
The answers provided will be published in their entirety online on Sundays.
Langley MPs were asked: What thing the province should do to prepare our highways, pipelines and power transmission infrastructure for the harsh weather conditions of a climate-affected future?
Bruce Banman, Member of Parliament for Abbotsford South
A. The government has a responsibility to ensure that local authorities and communities have the support and resources to have the highest level of warning and preparedness for impending weather events, so that we can protect our roads, our power lines and infrastructure.
For example, the citizens of Washington state were warned of the flooding 48 hours before those of Sumas Praaire, depriving them of precious hours to move equipment and livestock, evacuate families and barricade roads and infrastructure – because that they had not been warned by the NDP government in time about the impending flooding of the Nooksack River.
Additionally, the provincial state of emergency was declared more than two days after the initial damage was caused, delaying affected local areas of much-needed Canadian Armed Forces assistance. It was an inherent failure of the NDP.
With the increasing impacts of climate change, it is becoming increasingly evident that these significant climate disasters will become more and more common.
We need significant investment from the province in our infrastructure, not only to rebuild major roads and highways, but to strengthen them against future heat waves, forest fires, floods, landslides and other disasters. .
The government also needs to invest in better communication and disaster preparedness to give communities the appropriate level of advance warning of impending weather events. On November 18, the British Columbia Liberal Caucus called an emergency debate in the Legislature and called for an all-party task force to be formed to review the provincial government’s response to emergencies and discuss means to ” improve government communications, disaster preparedness and emergency response protocols.
The NDP has yet to respond.
Michael de Jong, Member of Parliament for Abbotsford West
A. We have seen this year the devastating effects that extreme weather events can have on our communities and it is clear that more action needs to be taken to prevent such destruction in the future.
We know that the increasing impacts of climate change will make difficult weather events more frequent, and therefore we must continue to invest in our infrastructure so that it can withstand future weather conditions and continue to serve citizens, even in times of crisis. .
But alongside improving infrastructure, we also need to improve the way and speed with which government responds to disasters.
A swift and decisive response is essential to mitigate damage and warn people as much as possible before evacuating, saving lives and allowing people to prepare their property or evacuate livestock.
Clear communication from government to those on the ground is invaluable and this is something that has been missing from this government’s disaster response.
This is why our British Columbia Liberal caucus called on the NDP government to create an all-party task force to review past responses to emergencies, examine and identify gaps and gaps, and develop better plans and strategies for the future.
This is a step that would help better protect the people of British Columbia and hopefully prevent damage to property and infrastructure on the scale we saw last year.
I sincerely hope that the government will see the value of this request and set up such a committee as soon as possible.
Megan Dykeman, Member of Parliament for Langley East
A. A top priority for our government is to ensure the safety of British Columbians, and that includes on our roads.
The flooding that has resulted from recent weather events has been devastating, and as we rebuild we will continue to do so with safety and the impacts of climate change in mind.
With any road infrastructure work planned in the province, design engineers must consider how climate change and future weather changes will affect infrastructure, and what can be done to make our roads and bridges better. resilient, so they stay reliable and open.
Examples include expanding culverts, bridging areas of concern where culverts are no longer suitable, redesigning drainage channels for future runoff and better shielding slopes.
This approach means that appropriate climate adaptation is taken into account throughout the life of our infrastructure.
Langley MP Andrew Mercier
A. The past year has been a stark reminder of the impacts of climate change.
We know this is serious, and our government is taking a comprehensive approach with our ambitious and award-winning climate action plan, the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030.
In addition to this plan, which will mitigate the effects of climate change for future generations, we can look at how we are preparing and improving infrastructure.
For example, extreme weather conditions caused by climate change can impact reservoir levels.
That’s why BC Hydro continually strives to improve weather and inflow forecasts, and to expand hydroclimatic monitoring technologies. BC Hydro staff are highly trained and experienced to adapt quickly to changing conditions.
In addition, investments in infrastructure and capital projects, such as the replacement of weir gates, will increase resilience to climate change.
Due to the Christmas holidays, we will be taking a break from At Your Service for the next few weeks. Tune in again at the start of the New Year, 2022.
Watch for responses from politicians online on Sunday.
Langley Provincial Government