32 ways to spend (part of) $1 billion

FVC readers say they would prefer their communities spend its bonus money from the government, rather than try to reduce taxes

Lots of money; even more places to spend it.

Earlier this week, we wrote about the tens of millions of dollars Fraser Valley cities will get through a one-time $1 billion provincial grant. (Read that story here to see how much each city will get..)

The cities and towns will have to figure out how to spend the cash, so we asked you what they should do with it—and if you’d like to see it emulate Surrey and try to use it to reduce this year’s coming tax hike.

Of more than 200 respondents, most wanted to see your city spend the money.

The money coming from the province is a bunch of cash, though it’s not infinite.

Abbotsford and Langley will get more than $20 million, Chilliwack will get $17 million, and while smaller communities will get less, they make out even better on a per-person basis.

About half suggested the money should be spent either building recreation facilities (24%) or improving local roads or public transportation (28%). Only about 18% of you suggested using it to mitigate tax increases.

Many of you were more specific about exactly how your community should go about spending their newfound cash. We’ve collected nearly three dozen responses below. If you haven’t yet chimed in, you can add your two cents on our Facebook page here.

Some of the many other ideas:

  1. Provide a daytime drop-in centre for unhoused people

  2. Build affordable housing for those with no homes

  3. Build pickleball courts

  4. Create programs to reduce effect of climate disasters

  5. “Obtain public control over McKee Peak.”

  6. Buy land on Little Mountain in Chilliwack

  7. Create more dog parks

  8. Build sidewalks and fund public transit in Hope

  9. Staff existing recreation facilities properly

  10. Build a new arts centre in Chilliwack

  11. Buy out floodplain farmland

  12. Build a new Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge

  13. Create a Chilliwack senior centre with amenities

  14. Invest in low-income housing

  15. Fix those potholes

  16. Help Sumas Prairie flood victims

  17. Build cycling corridors

  18. Invest in heritage homes

  19. Improve local hospitals (editor: this, technically, is a provincial area of jurisdiction, but locals do also provide infrastructure funding through regional health districts.)

  20. Build more McKee Peak trails

  21. Replace MSA arena with a new facility that can also accommodate dry-floor activities (and maybe has an indoor walking track)

  22. Install more crosswalk signals

  23. Create walking and biking trails on local dikes (editor: hmmm)

  24. Build resilient drinking water infrastructure

  25. Subsidize waste pick-up

  26. Create more bus shelters and fund more regional buses

  27. Create outdoor recreation facilities like playing courts, bike and dog parks, and trails that are cheaper than large indoor facilities

  28. Build a disc golf course in Abbotsford

  29. Improve the road to Sasquatch Provincial Park

  30. Create a second evacuation route from Harrison Hot Springs

  31. Fund a bus to the Abbotsford airport

  32. Create more indoor playgrounds where children can play when it’s raining

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