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

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read