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Billions in infrastructure spending for hospitals, schools, road maintenance in B.C. budget

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The B.C. NDP government intends to spend more than $43 billion to deliver critical infrastructure in the next three years, significantly more than the last several years.

They’re forecasting $14.1 billion in the 2024-25 fiscal year, $15.1 billion the following year, then $14.1 in year three.

That’s significantly more than the $3.9 billion in capital spending in 2017-18 and $6 billion in 2021-22.

That spending encompasses everything from road maintenance to expanded hospitals, plus new schools and post-secondary facilities, along with $2.4 billion for taxpayer-supported housing projects.

Nearly one-third of the spending – $13 billion through 2027 – is through the Ministry of Health for the construction of seniors’ care homes, hospitals, and cancer care facilities.

That includes $2.9 billion toward the new hospital and cancer centre in Surrey, $2.8 billion for the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, more than $2.5 billion toward the Burnaby Hospital expansion and new cancer centre, $1.4 billion for the Cowichan District Hospital, $1.2 billion for phases 2 and 3 of the Royal Columbian Hospital redevelopment, $861 million for redevelopment of Richmond Hospital, in addition to hospitals in the north and interior regions of the province.

Some 1,690 beds will be redeveloped or replaced through $1.7 billion in health-care funding for Vancouver, Colwood, Abbotsford, Richmond, Delta, Campbell River, and Granbrook long-term care facilities.

Building new schools and seismically upgrading, expanding and renovating existing ones will account for a record $4.2 billion over the next three years as part of the capital plan, including $178 million at BCIT, $25 million at Capilano University, $106 million at Royal Roads University, $139 million at UBC, $150 million at the University of Victoria, and $291 million at Vancouver Community College.

Capital investments in transit and transportation total $15.5 billion over the next three years, including the continuation of the Highway 1 project through the Fraser Valley, the Patullo Bridge, the Broadway subway line in Vancouver, and the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain expansion.

BC Transit will see $248 million to “expand infrastructure to suppor.t increased service and ensure the efficiency of the province’s transit system to reduce traffic congestion and support reliable, safe, and affordable transit.” Another $28 million in operating investments over three years will go towards the goal of a 14.5 increase in service hours by 2027-28.

$207 million of that is specifically for road and bridge maintenance on provincial highways. The province is responsible for more than 3,000 bridges and 47,000 kilometres of roadway.

The Ministry of Finance estimates that these projects and capital spending directly or indirectly create 185,000 jobs over the three-year term.

Full coverage of B.C. Budget 2024

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