Victoria – The 2021 BC Provincial Throne Speech was delivered Monday afternoon.
Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin opened the 2nd session of the 42nd Parliament of BC and read the speech from the throne.
The speech was vague on improvements on infrastructure, affordable housing and dealing with homelessness. A ship building strategy is expected to be announced.The overdose crisis was mentioned in the same breath as the COVID concerns.
Austin did lament over the show of support for front line workers this time last year. The banging of pots and pans at 7PM. That seems to have disappeared one year later.
The Budget will be presented April 20 with promises for small business, environmentally focused business and perhaps some relief for the arts.
In the Provincial Media release: The throne speech highlighted concrete actions government will take over the next year to ensure that B.C. comes back from the pandemic stronger and more resilient:
- improving health care so B.C. is better prepared for future challenges by addressing cracks in long-term care that COVID-19 has exposed, reducing surgery wait times and building more hospitals and urgent primary care centres in every part of British Columbia.
- making life more affordable through changes to ICBC that will cut car insurance rates by 20%, expanding access to $10-a-day child care spaces and investments to help get thousands of “missing middle” rental homes built throughout the province.
- supporting businesses with grants to help them build or expand online stores, and by introducing legislation to support the operations of InBC strategic investment fund, which will help promising B.C. firms scale up and keep jobs here at home.
- building more inclusive communities by developing B.C.’s first anti-racism law, reforming the outdated Police Act, and introducing landmark legislation to remove barriers to accessibility and inclusion experienced by British Columbians with disabilities.
- protecting the environment by reforming forestry legislation to meet the challenges of the 21st century, continuing to take action on recommendations to protect old growth stands, and improving waste management for plastics.
- bridging the digital divide by investing in boosting digital connectivity in rural, remote and Indigenous communities – building on the progress made to bring better internet to thousands of households around the province.