NEW DEMOCRATS SAY CAPITAL INVESTMENT IN SCHOOLS LONG OVERDUE
VICTORIA— New Democrats say the announcement of capital funding for schools is long overdue, and that it is about time the Liberal government started listening to parents, educators and communities who are concerned about overcrowded schools and students going to classes in portables.
“Parents and students have been calling on the Liberals to make these investments for years,” said New Democrat education critic Robin Austin. “It’s good to see the Liberals have finally started to reverse course from their history of refusing to make capital investments even while closing schools in growing communities. It's about time they acknowledged what parents, students and school leaders have been saying for years."
This school funding announcement follows after years of New Democrats fighting for investments in school spaces, and calling on the Liberal government to reverse their policy of closing schools, especially in rapidly growing communities. Here are just a few quotes from years of advocacy:
- “There has been some additional seismic upgrading but no spaces added for the students that have been coming ever since 2006. There have been no new space…May I ask the minister? Can she tell me: if a miracle happened and there was more funding for actual new spaces announced in a capital budget this year, how many years would it take for those new schools to be built?” – Sue Hammell, May 18, 2010
- “Why doesn't this government do the right thing, take real action to protect the environment by putting Surrey children in real classrooms rather than in these energy-inefficient portables?” – Harry Bains, April 22, 2010
- "Sadly, the B.C. Liberals refuse to acknowledge the realities of overcrowding and continued cost pressures in our schools. Boards of education struggle to pay for the fundamentals, and parents wonder how their kids will spend another year without the support they need. It’s critical we invest in our children in the early stages of life, but that investment must be carried through. If we want to build the economy, we need sustained, stable funding for B.C. schools." – Bruce Ralston, March 4, 2010
- “Because of the wrong priorities of this government, Fleetwood Elementary School will become a bedtime story. Once upon a time there was a school named Fleetwood Elementary School. This school was closed by the B.C. Liberals when the population in the area was growing." – Jagrup Brar, March 12, 2009
- “We have a need for a replacement for Belmont High School in the Western Communities. The community got together, and the school districts put together an exceptional business plan. They leveraged all kinds of opportunities to put together a very attractive, very feasible business plan — a great investment for the government to make in schools in the Western Communities.” – Maurine Karagianis, March 4, 2010
- “Despite the crumbling walls, the duct tape covering the holes in the floor and a leaky roof, there is strong school spirit. But the time has come to build a new school for the 21st century. Let's get on with it.” – John Horgan, March 12, 2009