Mike BernierVancouver: Minister of Education Mike Bernier released the following statement today in response to the budget submitted by the Vancouver School Board:

“I am disappointed that the Vancouver School Board chose to go against the School Act by failing to adopt a balanced budget.

“Our offer was a simple one – we gave them the go-ahead to sell Kingsgate Mall and put the proceeds back into education services. We backed that up with a guarantee of almost $6 million in exchange for a small ownership share in the mall if the sale does not happen in the next school year. Either option would have made sure the budget was balanced in Vancouver.

“This proposal gave them the time and the resources they needed to avoid cuts, and they chose to reject that.

“Just like many parents, I am disappointed that the Vancouver School Board has put their desire to own a mall ahead of services for students. Combined with their continued investment of $37 million a year in empty seats, the VSB seems to have forgotten its mission is to educate students – not maintain ownership of as much property as possible.”