Alternate Community Use
As per the School Act, through the Disposal of Land or Improvements Order, all school boards can only dispose of land through a sale or long-term lease to a community agency or organization for alterative community use, pending ministerial approval. School boards do not need additional ministerial approval if the land is sold or leased long-term to another school board or independent school.
As discussed during the QEA closure, if the Board decides to surplus the QEA site, District staff is recommending the Board dispose of the site to the Francophone public school board, Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique (CSF), either through sale or long-term lease.
Disposing the land, either through sale or long-term lease to CSF would provide capital revenue for the Board, that can then be directed to Board priorities for capital investments such as building a new school in an area with enrolment demand, expanding or seismically upgrading an existing school.
There is serious interest from CSF to acquire the QEA site. CSF has filed a civil claim which names the District, the Province of B.C. and the Ministry of Education. The claim mentions a 2016 B.C. Supreme court ruling requiring the Province to supply a school site in Vancouver west of Granville Street, to CSF. In addition, there is a separate, confidential education mediation underway involving the CSF, the District and Ministry of Education to resolve a land dispute. These two separate proceedings are requiring extensive and costly District resources.
Furthermore, in April 2022 legislative amendments made to the School Act give the Province the ability to transfer land held by a board to CSF. This power will only be used when all other avenues to fulfil the Province’s obligations to minority language education rights-holders have been exhausted.
Given the forementioned legal proceedings, CSF’s interest in the site and that CSF is another public education Board, the Superintendent recommends the Board declare QEA as surplus to District needs and proceed with disposition of the site to CSF.