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Cities brace for the aftermath of the election and real budget numbers

May 11th, 2009 · 5 Comments

I got a copy of a letter last week from the Fraser Valley Regional Library board that expressed an anxiety felt by many out there. It began:

Over the past few weeks the Board of Fraser Valley Regional Library, along with other
libraries across the province were concerned to hear rumors over possible significant
reductions in the provincial funding for public libraries.

And then the letter, signed by Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender, went out to argue about the importance of libraries and how they’re needed more than ever in the downturn, etc. Libraries aren’t the old bodies feeling this way. Everyone is wondering what the real budget will be once the voting is over tomorrow and whoever is elected gets in there to start chopping. I’ve heard — though have no idea if it’s true — that there’s already an internal provincial committee working on the drastically revised budget.

Cities have to be worried for sure. Many of them have been waiting for the province to come through on money for promised housing — not just here in Vancouver, as you might imagine, but in places like Kelowna and Nanaimo and everyone else where the homeless are now present. TransLink mayors were already in a quandary about how the Lower Mainland is going to pay for $450 million of unfunded new spending needed to keep the system up to speed (pun intended). And, as the library letter tells us, there could be all kinds of cuts in little areas that we don’t even think about, until the money’s gone.

Happy voting.

And here’s the full text of the library board’s letter.


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