B.C. disaster response outdated and inaccessible for evacuees: ombudsperson report

 By Brieanna Charlebois THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER- Emergency support programs for disaster evacuees in British Columbia are outdated, under-resourced, inaccessible and poorly communicated, according to a report by the province’s ombudsperson. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke’s report on the government’s response to wildfires and severe flooding in 2021 analyzed the fairness in delivering assistance programs and says there was unclear and confusing communication, unreasonable delays and a lack of flexibility about how help was delivered. Chalke said after the report’s release on Tuesday that the process of delivering assistance does not take into account the distinct needs of Indigenous evacuees, elderly people or those with physical and cognitive disabilities. “A major takeaway from this report is that (in) trying to deliver government programs, especially in extreme situations like this, equity needs to…

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