This Vancouver Councillor thinks the City’s earthquake planning is akin to “fearmongering”

Vancouver's Stupidest Politics Column


NPA Councillor Colleen Hardwick. Photo Dan Toulgoet

A 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck off B.C.’s coast last night, reminding me of something interesting that I witnessed a few weeks back.

I was sitting in on a Vancouver City Council meeting and had to stifle a laugh following a staff presentation about their earthquake resilience strategy, and how we might bounce back after the big one.

I pop in to Council meetings for an hour or so nearly every time they hold one (HERE is the schedule), partly to get a read on motions but also to see how these people are working together.

I want to see the human side of the decisions being made on our behalf, and one thing that has stuck out is Councillor Colleen Hardwick’s visible frustration with her fellow Councillors and a number of motions from them, and presentations from staff.

It wasn’t that this particular presentation regarding earthquake resilience was funny, prompting me to check myself and not let out a howl of laughter. Like climate change it’s a dead-serious, well-established fact that we’re due for a big quake here.

It’s not funny.

The City has put in a shitload of work over the past decade on preparedness, and Mayor Kennedy Stewart recently told media that “People should feel confident that we’re as best prepared for an earthquake that we can be.”

No, I nearly made a disruption by laughing out loud because Councillor Hardwick attempted to poke holes in the science behind earthquakes.

We don’t see too many theatrics from our municipal politicians, but Hardwick ramped it up on this day when it came her turn to ask the staffer questions. With her line of questioning she seemed to be implying that an imminent quake was some grand hoax, and that the city was wasting taxpayer money on all of this silly preparedness business.

The reason why anyone would make up something like earthquake probability? I’m not sure. I’m going to assume that you believe in science, and that you also believe it’s in our best interest to be as ready for an earthquake as we can be.

This week Hardwick sat down with Dan Fumano from the Province, giving him a rare look into her “quiet protest” that she’s been waging against her fellow Councillors, not only from opposing parties but her own within the NPA.

Read Fumano’s fascinating piece and see why this Councillor thinks the city is also blowing it on truth and reconciliation.

Buckle up for this one. It’s a wild ride.


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