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UPDATE: Nearly $20 million Vernon-Monashee funds voted against

NDP MLA disappointed BC Liberals voted against the funding
Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu says almost $20 million for local governments will help fund key projects. The funding from the province’s $1 billion Growing Communities Fund was announced Friday, March 3. (Brendan Shykora/Morning Star)

UPDATE March 9:

Earlier today, Kevin Falcon’s BC Liberals voted against nearly $20 million in funding that Premier David Eby and the BC NDP provided to Vernon-Monashee through the Growing Communities Fund.

“We heard the concerns of local leaders and community members, and we delivered on the support that was needed to invest in local projects and help people. I am extremely disappointed that the Liberals don’t think that our communities are a priority,” said Harwinder Sandhu, Vernon-Monashee MLA. “Rural communities need investments, and Kevin Falcon is turning his back on them when he had the opportunity to show his support. Investing in people now helps everyone in the long-run, and the Liberals record of harmful cuts causes more problems down the road.”

While the BC NDP government is using B.C.’s fiscal surplus to support people across B.C., Falcon told Global News that he opposes this investment:

“Instead of using some of that to responsibly pay down debt or deal with other things, what did the NDP do with the surplus they had last year, a one-time surplus? They are trying to spend all of it,” said Falcon.

Last week, the Premier announced that all 188 local governments will share $1 billion in funding for the construction of infrastructure that is needed to support the rapid growth of our communities. Vernon-Monashee’s share is $19,054,000.

The funding is not being withdrawn as the majority of the MLAs voted in favour.



Almost $20 million in provincial funding will help Vernon-Monashee governments fund key projects, says local MLA Harwinder Sandhu.

The “historic investment” was announced Friday, March 3, an investment that aims to ensure people can have reliable services as populations grow.

“Vernon-Monashee is filled with opportunities for families, and people depend on their local government to provide services for our growing community,” Sandhu said in a press release.

“With this investment in local municipalities, residents can look forward to seeing more improvements to amenities and services.”

The Growing Communities Fund, announced Feb. 10, will see the B.C. NDP government distribute $1 billion across B.C.’s 188 municipalities and regional districts.

Four local governments in Vernon-Monashee are receiving funding. Vernon is receiving $9,575,000, Coldstream is getting $4,148,000, Lumby will get $1,378,000 and the Regional District of North Okanagan will receive $3,953,000.

The funding comes as communities continue to grow, and local governments have to meet increased strain on infrastructure and amenities including roads, transit, water and electrical systems, as well as community centres, parks and social services.

The one-time funding supports the Union of BC Municipalities’ 2022 resolution, Improving Provincial Grant Process, and a recommendation of its 2021 report, Ensuring Local Government Financial Resiliency.

The grants are intended to complement rather than displace existing infrastructure funding for things like sewer, water and roads.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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