Red Cross to cover B.C. man’s $20,000 emergency airfare after evacuation

Evacuated to Whitehorse during wildfires but had to be flown to Vancouver for heart condition

A southern B.C. man’s $20,000 emergency airfare incurred during 2017’s wildfire season will be paid by the Red Cross.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says she is pleased to announce a resolution to the plight of 90-year-old Rudolph Dunst of Lone Butte.

Dunst and his 87-year-old wife were forced to evacuate during last summer’s wildfires. They were able to find accommodation in Whitehorse but he was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with a heart condition. He required a procedure that could not be performed in Whitehorse and was airlifted to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver via Yukon Air.

This left Dunst with a $20,000 bill for emergency airfare.

According to Barnett, he approached her office on December 14 of last year and Dunst eventually spoke directly with a ministry official who told him that his transportation costs would not be covered because it was ‘out of province’ travel.

Barnett raised the matter twice during question period at the Legislature. Health minister Adrian Dix repeatedly gave assurances. Barnett then approached the Red Cross directly and advocated on behalf of Mr. Dunst. The Red Cross kindly agreed to cover the $20,000 bill for emergency airfare.

“I find it rather disturbing to have this poor man put through months of unnecessary distress,” said Barnett. “Why didn’t the minister act when he had the opportunity? It is only through a determined effort at the highest levels that finally brought this matter to a close. The health minister should be ashamed of himself.”

We reached out the the Red Cross and Health Minister Adrian Dix and are currently waiting to hear back. We will update the story when we do.


max.winkelman@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Tsawout hosts Saanich Peninsula community leaders at blanket ceremony

Reconciliation event meant to share the Indigenous exerience

Amazing Race Canada kicks off at Hatley Castle

Popular reality TV show will premiere later this year

WATCH:First responders score first, take inaugural Challenge Cup in Oak Bay

Ice hockey game raises funds for Cops for Cancer, encourages positive interaction with youth

LGBTQ advocates turn Victoria SOGI protest into dance party

Counter-protest outnumbers anti-SOGI activists on lawn of B.C. legislature

Judith Guichon steps down as Lieutenant Governor of B.C.

Election decision didn’t make her best moments from the past six years

Vancouver to rake in $30 million in empty homes tax in first year

The tax is the first of its kind in Canada, and was intended to address the city’s near-zero vacancy rate

B.C.’s snowpack continues to increase, melting delayed

River Forecast Centre official says sudden melting further into the season could cause flooding

Another B.C. First Nation voices support for Kinder Morgan pipeline

Simpcw First Nation claims people living on one-third of pipeline route support the project

Scooter crash leaves Island man with critical injuries

RCMP said a truck was making a left-hand turn when it collided with the scooter travelling through the intersection

Prankster broadcasts fake nuclear threat in Winnipeg

The audio recording on Sunday warned of a nuclear attack against Canada and the United States

ICBC reform aims to slow rising car insurance costs

‘Pain and suffering’ payouts to be capped, major injury limit to double

Most Read