Capital investments in Richmond means good local jobs and and supports for families, right in our community.
Budget 2021 uplifts people and families in B.C. through free transportation for children 12 and under, K-12 investments, child care, housing and health investments, and addresses and supports economic recovery during and after this pandemic.
In addition to these BC-wide supports, our community here in Richmond is benefitting from provincial programs and capital investments in our city.
Budget 2021 is creating well-paying jobs in communities throughout Richmond, opening more opportunities for Richmond residents to live and work in the same city. I want to use child care as an example. When our government builds a new school, housing complex or other projects, we work to ensure child care is included in the capital plans and we know this provides the foundation for new early childhood educator (ECE) jobs. The Childcare BC New Spaces Fund, though not listed as strictly as a capital spending, opens doors for partnerships between the Province, the City and community groups for quality and accessible childcare in Richmond. The Fund provides the childcare seats we need while creating new ECE jobs and construction jobs for site development.
Budget 2021’s capital spending in Richmond ensures access to the services people depend on like healthcare or safe places for kids to learn. From 2017 to 2020, the provincial government invested nearly $82 million on seismic upgrades at eight Richmond schools. The provincial government continues to build and strengthen services and infrastructure and I am happy to say these investments are coming to Richmond! An additional $50 million for 2021, across four Richmond schools, will bring us significantly closer to our goal of ensuring all of our Richmond students and staff are learning and working in seismically safe schools.
Budget 2021 makes sure that the people and businesses who serve us are supported to keep their doors open now, and beyond, to a good pandemic recovery. This is not capital spending, but it is an equally important investment that our residents will benefit from. Budget 2021’s commitment to ongoing business relief and recovery helps businesses make it through the pandemic and adopt practices that will improve post-pandemic resiliency.
The tourism, restaurant and hospitality businesses that make Steveston Village a beloved one-of-a-kind destination can now use business supports to pivot to safer outdoor options like patio dining and e-commerce, serving existing and new customers.
On a province-wide level, Budget 2021 provides record levels of capital spending ($26.4 billion) to expand and sustain provincial infrastructure over the three-year plan. Below are listed these Richmond commitments from Budget 2021 and project status for items that received provincial support through previous Budgets.
Capital Investments Highlights from Budget 2021
· James McKinney Elementary – seismic upgrade - $12.6M (all provincial)
· Maple Lane Elementary – seismic upgrade - $6.7M (all provincial)
· William Bridge Elementary – seismic upgrade - $16.0M (all provincial)
· James Whiteside Elementary – seismic upgrade - $17.2M ($15.1M provincial, $2.1M school district contribution)
· A 40-unit modular building at 2520 Smith Street to address homelessness in the area. Housing is providing capital funding of $7.2 million through the Homelessness Action Plan program.
Capital Investments through Budgets 2017-2020 Update
· F.A. Tomsett Elementary – seismic upgrade with 95 seats addition – $11.4M ($7.7 provincial, $3.7 school district)
· Manoah Steves Elementary – seismic upgrade and partial replacement – $12.8M (all provincial)
· Mitchell Elementary – seismic upgrade and partial replacement – $11.4M (all provincial)
Education Completed Projects
· Hugh Boyd Secondary – seismic upgrade and partial replacement – $10.7M (all provincial)
· William Cook Elementary – seismic upgrade and four classroom addition – $14M ($13M provincial, $1M school district)
· Robert J Tait Elementary – seismic upgrade and partial replacement – $7.6M (all provincial)
· WD Ferris Elementary – seismic upgrade – $8.5M (all provincial)
· The Province is providing $5 million from the Investment in Housing Innovation Fund to the Wisteria Seniors Health and Housing Society for a new 107-unit development for seniors independent living.
· BC Housing is providing Capital Funding to Habitat for Humanity B.C. affiliate of $300,000 to complete six single-family dwellings with secondary suites that will house 12 families. (Housing Endowment Fund).
BC Housing Completed Projects
· BC Housing provided capital funding of $7.6 million through the Rapid Response to Homelessness program for a 40-unit modular housing project located at 6999 Alderbridge Way that is operated by the Raincity Housing and Support Society.
Health Completed Projects
· Richmond Hospital – Electrical Infrastructure Replacement: Phase 2 – to produce an electrical power distribution system upgrade Master Plan with cost estimates and implement a Strategic Plan to minimize power system risks in a prioritized sequential manner – $17M (all provincial)
· Implementing interim safety and reliability improvements at the George Massey Tunnel, including converting to LED lighting to improve visibility, upgrading life safety and electrical systems to current standards, resurfacing between Steveston Highway and Highway 17, enhanced lane markets and reflective signs and tunnel drainage upgrades – $33.4M (all provincial). Completing Spring 2021.
Transportation Completed Projects
· A new seventh lane on the Alex Fraser Bridge by installing a moveable median barrier to allow counter-flow during peak periods and dynamic messaging signs to provide users real-time traffic information – $70M ($37M provincial, $33M federal).
If you are a Richmond-Steveston constituent and you have a question about the Budget or about provincial services, I welcome you to contact my constituency office at Kelly.Greene.MLA@leg.bc.ca and my staff will be happy to assist you.