Surrey school portable. (file photo)

Surrey school portable. (file photo)

Surrey councillor calling for zero-tolerance policy on more school portables

‘Surrey families are paying taxes and their kids shouldn’t be in portables,’ Linda Annis says

Surrey city Councillor Linda Annis is calling for a zero-tolerance policy on building more school portables in Surrey, which she says has become the portable capital of B.C.

She was responding to a corporate report before council at its last meeting entitled Surrey School District Eligible School Sites Proposal 2021-2022 Capital Plan by Jean Lamontagne, Surrey’s general manager of planning and development, that indicates 54,270 residential units are estimated to be developed in Surrey and White Rock over the next decade – that’s 68,198 units including secondary suites – resulting in an increase of 14,283 school-aged children in the district over that time.

This, the report says, will require five new elementary schools and two new secondary schools to be built, as well as the expansion of an elementary school. Based on current serviced land prices, this will cost an estimated $187,455,000.

Just three months ago the Now-Leader published a story that the school district was hoping to see 13 new schools built within the next decade as part of its $1.3 billion capital place request to the province.

Council was asked to endorse “in principle” the plan as outlined in Lamontagne’s report. Annis did not, but the rest of council did.

“I don’t think that estimate’s realistic,” Annis said of the projection for new students. “It further is seven we’re only going to have seven new schools to be constructed over the next ten years, and one expansion.

“What I see from this is just more and more portables. Unfortunately and regrettably we’re already kind of the portable capital of British Columbia when it comes to schools and I think we have to come down to a zero tolerance on our portables, we have far, far too many. Surrey families are paying taxes and their kids shouldn’t be in portables.”


Linda Annis (Photo: Malin Jordan)

READ ALSO: ‘Building schools is the answer’ to Surrey’s overcrowding problem

Mayor Doug McCallum replied that the provincial government has been “as cooperative as I’ve ever seen in my political career” and has built “many” schools.

“All you need to do is to drive around Surrey and look at all the school construction and extensions that are happening just in the last year,” he said. “The ministry has continued on this year.”

He noted there will be a meeting between the school district, city and provincial government in three weeks.

“I think we’re doing exceptional at this stage,” he said. “And I don’t want the public to think that we have got our foot off the gas. Yes, we do need to build schools and I can tell you in already talking to the ministry they’re going to be cooperative with us and they’re going to continue, as they did last year, building schools and adding extensions on to it.”

Councillor Allison Patton said she’s “very proud” of the work that’s been done. Councillor Laurie Guerra echoed that.

“The school board is elected separately from city council and I at this point, I thought that the meetings that we’ve had in the last two years have been very, very productive,” Guerra said. “I’ve seen a lot of growth, I’ve seen a lot of schools being built. I’ve been to many openings of the new schools.”

“We do have a lot of growth, though, and I think that we really need to stress that when we meet up with the new minister.”

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreySchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

A worker is seen throwing a chicken in an undercover video in 2017 filmed by California-based animal rights activists Mercy For Animals.
Fraser Valley chicken abuse trial delayed until February

Originally scheduled for a jury trial, Sofina and Chilliwack company now face judge alone

Desmond Tompkins helped curate and host a youth art show at the South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre art show highlights ‘diverse perspectives’

With COVID-19 protocols in place, youth art show underway

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Most Read