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Education minister says VSB shares blame in delays in seismic upgrades

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC’s education minister is suggesting the Vancouver School Board shares some of the blame for seismic upgrades not happening in a timely matter.

The Liberals have proposed a new project office in the VSB to help speed up the delivery of school seismic projects.

The board has until August 29th to sign the agreement. Peter Fassbender says this has been in the works for two years so the board has had notice.

Fassbender says the province has had the money on the table for a while but hasn’t been able to get the project definitions from the VSB. “The budgeting and all of the things that every other school district in the province has been doing with us and we need to move that ahead.”

He wouldn’t say whether the money could go elsewhere if the deal isn’t signed.

“I think what the province will have to do is Vancouver if they are not willing to establish this office, we have to look at what our options are. We have many pressures for seismic projects throughout the province and we’re going to have to look at what we’ll do in light of the fact Vancouver is not willing but I’m sure they are as concerned about safety for their students as we are…we just have to get on with it.”

As for the education dispute, Fassbender says he won’t be speaking about negotiations during this media blackout period.

He will accept an ALS ice bucket challenge from some students though.