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Feds commit $30 million to help build a fire hall on Burnaby Mountain

MP Terry Beech makes announcement on eve of possible election
UniverCity fire
Burnaby firefighters respond to a call in the UniverCity community on Burnaby Mountain in 2015. A fire department review has found the department's response to the top of the mountain is "inadequate" and the area needs its own fire hall.

The City of Burnaby’s plan to build a new fire hall on Burnaby Mountain is getting a big boost from the federal government.

Burnaby North-Seymour MP Terry Beech announced on Friday that the feds are committing $30 million towards the new fire hall. Funding for this project is being provided through Western Economic Diversification.

“This funding commitment comes after the Government of Canada's extensive conversation and collaborative efforts with the City of Burnaby, the Burnaby Fire Department, and the concerns of Burnaby Mountain residents about the need for federal support to enhance the city's emergency preparedness,” Beech said in a statement.

The NOW, in a July 15 story, was first to report that city staff had picked a site for a fire hall to serve Simon Fraser University and the UniverCity neighbourhood that is estimated to reach around 10,000 residents.

The city, however, said it won’t reveal the exact location of the fire hall until September.

External consultants have identified a need for a fire station atop the mountain since at least 2002, and a comprehensive review of the Burnaby Fire Department released in April 2020 listed a new SFU fire hall under “immediate needs.”

More than a year ago, the new fire station made it into the monthly updates on major capital projects presented to the city’s financial management committee, but those updates showed only that a feasibility study still needed to be initiated.

That finally changed last month when the update noted a site had been selected, and direction was now required from city council to proceed.

City director of planning and building Ed Kozak told the NOW he could not disclose the location until city council approved it.

Since the next major capital project report to the financial management committee isn’t till September, it won’t be known until then.

In the meantime, however, Kozak said the city is “still doing due diligence on the site and its ability to accommodate a fire hall.”

  • With additional reporting by Cornelia Naylor