A Canadian politician has been blasted for saying 'fatalities are a part of life' and appearing to blame the public after hundreds of excess deaths were reported amid British Columbia's unprecedent heatwave and out-of-control wildfires.
At least 486 sudden deaths have been reported over the last five days during British Columbia's heatwave - which included triple digit temperatures and the country's hottest day ever at 121F.
While it's unclear exactly how many are related to the heatwave, the province's chief coroner said there are typically 165 sudden deaths in the same time frame.
British Columbia Premier John Horgan said during a Tuesday press conference that 'fatalities are a part of life.'
He went on to say, 'It was apparent to anyone who walked out doors that we were in an unprecedented heat wave and again there's a level of personal responsibility.'Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
He added: 'The public was acutely aware that we had a heat problem. And we were doing our best to break through all of the other noise to encourage people to take steps to protect themselves.'
His comments immediately drew the ire of social media, who accused the BC Premier - which is most similar to a US governor - of blaming the victims.
British Columbia Premier John Horgan said 'fatalities are a part of life' as Northern Canada faces an unprecedented and deadly heatwave
The heat wave caused an out-of-control forest fire and burned the small Canadian village of Lytton to the ground
Horgan tried to walk back his comments on Twitter, saying: 'Nothing can ease the pain of losing a loved one, whether it's from the unprecedented heat wave or any other cause.
'Mourning families deserve our compassion, and the wording of my comments didn't reflect that. Please continue supporting one another & checking on your neighbors.'
But the damage was already done, and many people didn't seem to accept the apology.
'That's OK John (you don't mind if I call you John, I hope), you showed us who you really are with your original callous comments. Too late for this apologetic spin put together by your comms team. It wasn't "the wording" of your comment that was the problem, it was your intent,' @InspiredAquaCA tweeted in response to Horgan's apology.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer