THE BC Liberals on Thursday said that while the NDP government freezes school capital projects so it can roll ahead with Premier John Horgan’s billion-dollar vanity museum project, NDP MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview George Chow remains silent on the impact this will have on students in seismically unsafe schools in his riding.
“It’s hard to understand the NDP government’s decision to spend one billion dollars for a brand-new museum that nobody wants while freezing the construction of schools and other capital projects around B.C. that are in desperate need of seismic upgrades,” said Michael Lee, MLA for Vancouver-Langara. “It’s quite remarkable that MLA Chow has come forward in support of the museum, but has stayed silent when it comes to his government’s plan to defer seismic upgrades to the aging Killarney Secondary School.”
A recent letter by the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside confirms that no major school capital projects have been approved for three consecutive years and that three seismically unsafe Vancouver schools previously promised by the NDP have now been deferred. Killarney Secondary and Churchill Secondary were promised capital funding as part of the NDP’s Seismic Mitigation Program, but both projects have now been frozen to fund the new billion-dollar vanity museum project, the BC Liberals said.
“On one hand, George Chow and the NDP are blaming the school construction freeze on cost pressures from the pandemic and recent flooding, but at the same time, they are full steam ahead with a billion-dollar museum project that nobody asked for — it doesn’t add up,” added Lee. “Parents, students and educators are outraged by this decision and they have every right to be.”
Additionally, Chow and the NDP government have failed to deliver on their $4.5 million investment promise for the Sunset Seniors Centre, a project that both municipal and federal governments have pledged funding for, but one that continues to be ignored by the B.C. government, the BC Liberals pointed out.