School ‘fix-it fund’ grows for B.C. election year

$45 million available this year, taken from three-year budget for major repairs complete by next spring

Education Minister Mike Bernier

The B.C. government’s school “fix-it fund” has grown from $20 million last year to $45 million as the government announced 80 repair projects Thursday.

Education Minister Mike Bernier announced a $40 million fund when he called for submissions from B.C.’s 60 school districts in March. To be eligible, repairs to school roofs, windows, heating, electrical and plumbing have to be completed by the end of March 2017, when the next B.C. election campaign is getting underway.

Bernier said the fix-it fund is over and above the annual facilities grant provided to school districts for repairs. He confirmed that the additional funds are from within the current three-year ministry budget, shifted to the current fiscal year.

The fix-it fund is also in addition to the province’s carbon tax fund, financed by school and hospital districts to fund upgrades to heating boilers, windows and other energy efficiency projects.

“They’re ones that normally school districts would have a harder time with their annual facilities grants,” Bernier said.

[List of approved projects here.]

NDP education critic Rob Fleming said the program used to be called the routine maintenance fund.

“This is for deferred maintenance of neglected schools around the province,” Fleming said. “There’s probably hundreds of millions of dollars of deferred maintenance, so even at this rate it would take decades to get on top of that.”

Fleming said he was expecting new school construction funding for growing areas such as Sooke and Surrey, or assistance to keep schools from closing in communities such as Osoyoos.

 

Just Posted

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Castlegar daycare selected for universal childcare pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

Columbia Avenue paving scheduled for weekend

Paving on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare will take place in a few days, weather permitting.

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Most Read