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Burnaby council approves tax hike and $500M for 'major' capital projects

Projects include new pool and library in Lougheed area
Cameron Community Centre & Library web
A rendering of the new Cameron rec centre and library.

Burnaby council approved the city’s financial plan on Monday night that includes the “most ambitious capital program in its history” with $504 million in spending to complete five major new facilities within the next five years.

“To deliver on our vision of being a world-class city we must provide world-class facilities for our residents,” said Mayor Mike Hurley, in a news release. “This is a pivotal moment for Burnaby. Over the next five years, we will begin opening outstanding new facilities which serve the needs of our growing city both today and into the future.”

City Council unanimously endorsed the 2022-2026 financial plan that includes an outline of the major capital projects to be built in Burnaby.

These projects include:

  • Replacing the aging CG Brown Pool and Burnaby Lake Arena with a new Burnaby Lake Sports Complex, which will include multiple pools, multi-purpose rooms and an NHL-sized arena;
  • Building a new Cameron Recreation Centre and Library, which will feature a new leisure pool, gym and weight room, as well as an outdoor public plaza;
  • Redeveloping Confederation Park Community Centre to connect with the Eileen Dailly Pool and McGill Library;
  • Completing the Rosemary Brown Arena, which incorporates sustainable design features and water conservation strategies, in addition to twin pads and public meeting spaces; and
  • Designing a new community centre to serve the emerging Brentwood Town Centre.

In addition, the city will construct a new pedestrian and cycling overpass over Highway 1, which will provide a link between Burnaby Lake and Deer Lake. Funding for these projects will come through the city’s reserves “without incurring any debt,” said a news release.

The five-year financial plan incorporates a 2.95% increase in property taxes for 2022, or $54 for the average residential property.

“Burnaby’s tax increases continue to be among the lowest in the region, with the 2022 increases largely driven by increased operating costs from the RCMP contract, inflation and wage increases through collective agreements,” said the city, in a statement.

Burnaby is the third-largest city in B.C., and is among the fastest-growing municipalities in the province. Statistics Canada estimates Burnaby’s 2021 population as 260,918, an increase of more than 13,000 residents since 2017.