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

BUSINESS BEAT: New entrepreneurs investing in Port Alberni

Portal Curios and Oddities opening in Harbour Quay

Saanich man, passenger escape injury in Mt Arrowsmith rollover

A visitor from the South Island escaped injury after rolling his SUV… Continue reading

Port Alberni residents, city council divided on rules for cannabis stores

Public speaks up about pot at committee of the whole meeting

Port Alberni RCMP officers honoured for bravery

Five faced ‘violent, deranged’ male during break-in

Alberni Valley Bulldogs battle against top teams in the BCHL

Bulldogs split weekend games against Spruce Kings, Chiefs

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Most Read