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

Drug use a problem at Trail hockey games, warn RCMP

Police recommend changes to Trail Memorial Centre washrooms

Montrose moves to ban pot retail

Retail, production and distribution of non-medical cannabis sales prohibited under Montrose bylaw

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

Setting sail to fight kidney disease

Trail’s annual Kidney Walk included an opportunity to raft down the Columbia River

MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Ottawa working to iron out kinks in public alert system

The alerts are being credit with saving lives during last week’s tornadoes

Most Read