Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Is The Probabilty Of A 'Seismic' Event

Singing The Public Safety Song
Used To Build New Annex

It is now quoted in the Bulletin that the city claims there is a 40% chance the Colliery dams will fail in the next 50 years! Says who? In supporting the decision to remove the dams and thereby destroy the lakes you will find different language ranging from seismic event (unspecified) to significant earthquake (still unspecified) to justify the opinion there could be an unacceptable loss of life should the dams fail. The fact of the matter is that NO ONE can predict with any degree of accuracy when or even if such an event would occur. But it makes for a good fall back reason to fund another study and spend more tax dollars.

The same slippery language was used to justify the expending of at least $16,000,000.00 to build and furnish a shiny new office for city staff. An undertaking which was done without going to public tender, you may recall. The same practice employed to construct a conference centre we were told was going to cost $51,000,000.00, which the management at city hall saw balloon to at least $75,000,000.00 under their capable management. It has never been explained why the city didn't accept the offer to build the new annex for $9 million instead of $12 million as they could have, or for that matter bought a much larger building for $7 million or for that matter stayed where they were for nothing!

We are told by a couple of VIHA employees that perhaps, just maybe our city water supply which has provided enviable drinking water for 150 years is not adequately protected from beaver fever. A few (questionably qualified) city employees decide to agree with the order from a few VIHA employees and ba da bing ...... we need to spend $72,000,000.00 on a new water filtration plant. Never mind we are forcing people to drink this potentially dangerous water from the taps at civic facilities all across the city!

Anyone who has been paying attention to the decisions and performance coming from city hall this past decade are justified in questioning what kind of management city taxpayers have been buying.

Policy Needs To Be Made By City Council
Just What Is The Policy Regards Seismic Standard?

Every time some study indicates a structure may not withstand a 'seismic event' and therefore must be either upgraded or torn down is a policy that needs to be discussed by those paying the freight for such a policy. Cherry picking which project will have this safety standard applied is simply inconsistent and needs serious discussion. If we are going to insist that Nanaimo be 'earthquake proof' we should start with schools. If we really think we live in such day to day peril we need to make absolutely certain that our kids are safe first! Let the city hall staff take their chances with the rest of us dare devils who live and work in seismically challenged structures.

Nanaimo apparently lives in a zone which may be shaken to it's very core some day, perhaps, maybe when the BIG ONE (unspecified) finally hits. No one can predict with any degree of accuracy if this event will ever happen and whether it would have the feared effect dragged out by 'experts' to support their latest projects. If you want to be guaranteed you will be unaffected by the dreaded BIG ONE, you need to move.

In the meantime City Council, not city staff, need to establish a very clear and unambiguous policy with regards the application of current seismic standards to all structures within the city. If the conclusion is to tear everything down and rebuild, fine, but first let's determine just how exactly we are going to pay for it.


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