BC Liberals: Trustees confirm what Horgan won’t – school capital freeze is real

WHILE Premier John Horgan continues to insist “there is no constraint in our capital budget” as he plows ahead with his vanity museum project, the opposite appears to be true as school trustees in B.C. sound the alarm about impending budget cuts, say the BC Liberals.

“As he tries to defend the $1 billion museum megaproject planned for his own backyard, the Premier has claimed the capital budget for schools won’t be negatively affected. However, that doesn’t jive with what the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services is hearing from school trustees,” said Opposition Finance Critic Peter Milobar on Tuesday.

“They have outlined cuts that will not only impact classrooms but building maintenance and capital projects — and once again, it’s news to the Premier.”

As confirmed in the BC Today publication, BC School Trustees Association President Carolyn Broady told the committee she has so far canvassed 31 school district board chairs in the province, and every single one of them said their approved budgets either “contained substantial cuts” or required them to dip into reserves. The other 29 districts have yet to respond.

“While trustees are forced to defer maintenance projects at aging schools, which then makes future repairs even more costly — and as they struggle with the same inflationary pressures everyone in the province is facing — the NDP doesn’t seem to listen or care,” said Opposition Education Critic Karin Kirkpatrick, Deputy Chair of the committee.

“Evidence continues to mount, showing clearly that this is the wrong time to prioritize a pricey museum project. It’s time for John Horgan and the NDP to take the blinders off, scrap the museum, and do better for our kids.”