SURREY (November 22, 2018) – BC Liberal MLAs are once again questioning the BC NDP government’s timelines for building new schools in Surrey. The NDP promised to have half of Surrey portables gone within two years, and completely eliminated within four. Instead, construction is now delayed on five Surrey school projects because the budget provided by the government won’t cover project costs.
“We’re rapidly approaching the two year mark, and the portable situation in our community is getting worse – not better,” says Marvin Hunt, MLA for Surrey-Cloverdale. “This school year, we saw the portable count grow in our community. If the NDP was serious about meeting their election promise, they’d make sure projects are provided with realistic budgets so they can stay on track.”
“The Surrey School District has said it needs seven new schools in the next decade, but we’re learning government is already behind on current projects,” says Stephanie Cadieux, MLA for Surrey South. “The pressure on Surrey schools is only going to keep growing – it’s vital government keeps up.”
Surrey-White Rock MLA Tracy Redies notes building costs are increasing throughout the province – something the government should have taken into account when announcing budgets for projects.
“The NDP government has been piling burden after burden onto the construction industry in this province,” says Redies. “The NDP shouldn’t be surprised that projects are becoming more expensive when their actions ensured this would be the case.”
BC Liberal Education Critic Dan Davies says the situation in Surrey is unfortunately part of a broader provincial trend.
“This is a government that campaigned on building more schools in British Columbia – especially in Surrey,” says Davies. “But instead of increasing capital spending, we’re seeing the NDP spending less on building schools than our former government had budgeted. It’s one thing to make promises – now it’s time to back them up.”