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

Star Wars auction in Langley draws ‘crazy’ response

Seller said to be “very happy” with results

Police sketch shows suspect in assault of 23-year-old woman

Incident took place Nov. 14 on Maclure Road in Abbotsford

An unpleasant surprise online for Langley anti-hate campaigner

Text from newspaper article about his efforts was used to link to suspect websites

Giants back in Langley hoping to continue winning streak

The G-Men defeated Royals in Victoria Saturday, the second triumph of the week over the same team.

Vancouver concert promoter bans Nazi symbols at shows

A man was witnessed making a Nazi salute during a heavy metal show at Pub 340

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Family suspends search for missing Alberta couple, plane near Revelstoke

Due to bad weather, families of missing Albertan couple say they will resume in the spring

Canadian grocers make $3M per year from penny-rounding: UBC study

Ottawa announced plans in 2012 to phase out the copper coin

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

‘The Last Jedi’ opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

As anticipated, the movie fell shy of the opening weekend for J.J. Abrams’ 2015 franchise reboot

2 couples tie the knot in Australia’s 1st same-sex weddings

West Australian couple Anne Sedgwick, Lyn Hawkins have been together for 40 years

EDITORIAL: Putting #MeToo to work in your workplace

Workers from top to bottom need to stand together against the bully of sexual harassment

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Most Read