Sicamous resident Alysha Wolf wants to make air conditioning mandatory in housing facilities for people ages 55 and up. (Contributed)

Sicamous resident Alysha Wolf wants to make air conditioning mandatory in housing facilities for people ages 55 and up. (Contributed)

Update: Sicamous woman petitions for mandatory air conditioning in seniors housing

Alysha Wolf says AC shouldn’t be prohibited in housing leases

A Sicamous woman has started a petition to make air conditioning mandatory in housing facilities for seniors across Canada.

The idea for the petition came to Alysha Wolf after visiting her mother at a 55+ residence in Sicamous during the recent heat wave as her mom’s unit didn’t have air conditioning.

The housing administrator of the 55+ apartment where Wolf’s mother lives confirmed air conditioning is allowed; tenants just need to ask the landlord for permission. Several units in the facility do have air conditioning already, the administrator said.

Wolf said she thinks buildings across Canada housing seniors should be mandated by government to have air conditioning. She said perhaps a government grant could be created for seniors housing without air conditioning so systems could be retrofitted if they became mandated.

“Heat warnings telling a senior to not go outside don’t mean anything when their room is a box of heat,” said Wolf.

From June 25 through July 1, BC Coroners Service recorded 719 deaths – three times the average amount reported in a typical week.

Read more: B.C. deaths triple over the past week, to 719, as a result of heat wave

It’s likely the recent heat wave was “a significant contributing factor” to the rise in deaths, said B.C.’s chief coroner, Lisa Lapointe.

The province saw temperatures rise above 40 C during in that time period.

Many of the deaths were among older individuals living alone with minimal ventilation, Lapointe said.

Wolf’s petition is on change.org, titled Seniors should have air conditioning in their units.

Above all, Wolf hopes her petition will raise awareness on the issue and inspire provincial and federal governments to act.

–With files from Sarah Grochowski, Black Press Media

This story has been updated to reflect information provided by the 55+ residence in Sicamous

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