Yaletown parents wonder when new schools will appear
For people with young children living in trendy Yaletown, schools are the biggest issue.
But when plans were announced last week for a glitzy new casino hotel complex in the neighbourhood, many parents wondered why the proposal didn't include any direct community benefits -- such as a new school -- as part of the deal.
"We definitely need schools around here a lot more than we would need a casino," one mother told CTV News.
Right now, Elsie Roy Elementary is the only public school in this rapidly growing community, and there's clear demand for more schools.
"We know the schools that are currently in place there are overfilled, and entry into it causes a line-up," Vancouver City Councillor Raymond Louie told CTV News.
In past years, parents have reported camping out at Elsie Roy for entire weekends to register their kids for kindergarten.
Agreements to provide public infrastructure are typical in major development projects, but no new schools will be provided when the new casino complex is built.
Louie said the previous NPA council is to blame for making a deal to fix up the aging BC Place stadium.
"What happened last term is that Mayor [Sam] Sullivan and his colleagues in the NPA gave that away to the province. The community venues that we would normally get…were all directed towards the retrofit of BC Place," he said.
"So what we get is a roof, rather than what we would get under any other development scenario."
The new casino development aside, the B.C. government says schools in Vancouver aren't a priority.
"There are estimated to be about ten thousand empty seats in classrooms in Vancouver, in stark contrast to somewhere like Surrey, and when we look at needs we really have to look at the whole province," Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid told CTV News.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Mike Killeen