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

Trail vet says voting system has worked for 150 years

Letter to the Editor from Vaughn Budd of Trail

Kootenay employers ready to meet job seekers at Black Press career fair

Dozens of companies will attend the event on Nov. 15 at the Ktunaxa Nation Building in Cranbrook

Sandblasting Silver City skate sign

The Trail Sk8 Park was closed on Thursday so workers could ready a sign for painting

Area A seeks views on cannabis rules

The public hearing for Area A residents will go Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m.

Trail liquor store held up Friday night

The perpetrator was brandishing a weapon that appeared to be a gun, according to the Trail RCMP

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

B.C. cheese linked to 5 E. Coli cases

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

B.C. city councillor resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says Laurie Guerra’s resignation is effective Nov. 12

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

Most Read