Horgan says Wilkinson put wealthy donors ahead of investing in schools

BC NDP Leader John Horgan on Tuesday said that as B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson continues to promise tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest, a re-elected BC NDP government will build a modern new middle school and high school on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam.

“Families on Burke Mountain have waited years for new schools because the old BC Liberal government put the interests of their wealthy and well-connected friends before kids,” said Horgan. “Those were the wrong priorities then, and they are the wrong priorities now. As we recover from the pandemic, it’s important that we invest in our kids and give them the opportunities for the future they deserve.” 

The NDP said that in 2014, Wilkinson sold 14 parcels of land on Burke Mountain for $43 million less than what they were worth to BC Liberal-friendly developers.

When he was Minister for Citizens’ Services, Wilkinson led an aggressive fire sale of public land. The land often sold for less than appraised value and to BC Liberal donors.

Wilkinson sold the Burke Mountain land for $85 million – $43 million less than what it was worth – to developer Wesbild. (FOI)

In 2018, Wesbild and its founder donated $15,000 to Wilkinson’s campaign for BC Liberal leader. (Elections BC)

Wesbild, its founder, and its associated companies have donated a collective $700,000 to the BC Liberals since 2005. (Elections BC

“When John Horgan was elected, he put an end to giveaways for the wealthy and invested in schools across the province instead,” said Fin Donnelly, the BC NDP candidate for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. “John has made a lot of progress, but there’s more work to do—including building new schools on Burke Mountain. With a strong team, we will get the job done.”

The BC NDP government has invested a record $2 billion over three years and approved 102 new school projects. One of those is a new 430-seat elementary school on Sheffield Avenue in Burke Mountain announced last year.

John Horgan’s progress on education:

  • Hired 4,200 new teachers
  • Smallest class sizes in a decade
  • Built 141 new playgrounds so parents don’t have to fundraise