James and False Creek Residents Question Campbell's Priorities
NDP Leader demands Campbell come clean on 2010 costs
VANCOUVER -- Members of Vancouver’s False Creek Residents Association joined New Democrat Leader Carole James today to question why the Campbell government is ignoring their most crucial needs during a time when it’s pouring millions of dollars into B.C. Place upgrades right in their neighbourhood.
“During a time when families across B.C. are struggling with serious child care gaps, school closures, health care waitlists and a decline in seniors’ care, Gordon Campbell’s priority is the 2010 Olympics and his pet projects,” said James. “And he’s making matters worse by refusing to reveal the true costs of the games and the related projects.”
“Today, I’m joined by False Creek residents who are questioning why this Premier is pouring millions of dollars into B.C. Place upgrades while turning a blind eye to their needs,” said James, who was joined by members of the non-partisan False Creek Residents Association at an event near B.C. Place in Vancouver.
In early January 2009, sixteen parents lined up outside Elsie Roy Elementary School in Vancouver’s False Creek neighbourhood in cold temperatures and heavy snow to secure kindergarten spaces for their children. Local parents, families and the non-partisan False Creek Residents Association have been calling for years for resources to keep up with the growing demand for services.
James added that Campbell’s priorities instead have been to throw money at his pet projects, like B.C. Place upgrades, and the ballooning 2010 budget. The B.C. Liberals allowed B.C. Place budget to balloon from $2.5 million to $365 million. Currently, the pre-Olympic costs alone stand at $165 million.
Since 2003, the Campbell government has been ignoring warnings from B.C.’s auditors general that the true cost of the 2010 Olympics is much higher than the $600-million figure often quoted by the government. The current overall cost of staging the Olympics is predicted to be in the billions.
“Under Gordon Campbell, B.C. has become a more divided province - and False Creek is an example of that neglect,” said Spencer Herbert, the MLA for Vancouver - Burrard. “While services decline and gaps grow wider, my constituents want to know why Gordon Campbell refuses to put their needs ahead of his pet projects. They are calling on him to get his priorities right.”