Victoria – The Minister of Finance for BC, Selina Robinson, brought down her Provincial Budget on Tuesday afternoon.
Major talking points were spending on health care and keying in on COVID and the Opioid crisis. This includes a new Hospital and Cancer Centre for Surrey.
Youth under 12 will be able to ride transit for free.
The toll free crossing to replace the Deas island Tunnel was mentioned.
- Keeping people safe during the pandemic with $900 million in new funding for testing, contact tracing, personal protective equipment and the largest vaccine rollout in B.C.’s history.
- Helping patients get faster access to surgeries and shorter wait times for diagnostic imaging.
- Better care for seniors, including thousands of new staff in long-term care facilities and improved home care.
- More mental health supports in schools, more Foundry centres, quadrupling the number of integrated child and youth support teams, and expanding the response to the overdose crisis – the largest investment in mental health and addictions services in B.C.’s history.
- Providing better care closer to home by building hospitals, including the new Surrey hospital and cancer centre, and new urgent and primary care centres in communities around B.C.
- Addressing systemic racism in health care and ensuring Indigenous peoples have access to culturally appropriate care.
Supporting people and businesses
- Saving families up to $672 a year per child with free public transportation for children 12 years and under.
- Making it easier to find affordable, quality child care by doubling the number of $10-a-day child care spaces, doubling the wage enhancement for early childhood educators, and continuing to build and expand spaces.
- Creating 400 more spaces through the Aboriginal Head Start program that provides culturally relevant child care for Indigenous families.
- Continuing to fund the BC Recovery Benefit, which has helped over 2.5 million British Columbians to date and provides up to $1,000 to families and single parents, and up to $500 for individuals.
- Helping 80,000 low-income seniors by increasing the Senior’s Supplement for the first time ever.
- Helping those who are struggling most by delivering the largest-ever permanent increase to income assistance and disability assistance rates, a 53% increase to income assistance since 2017.
- Supporting the resilience of B.C. businesses with a suite of grants and funding, some already introduced in response to urgent needs, to help businesses adapt and grow.
- Helping ensure tourism businesses and communities make it through the pandemic and are ready to thrive when visitors can safely return.
- Improving campgrounds and trails, while adding up to 100 new campsites throughout the province every year, starting in 2022.
- Creating over 85,000 jobs and strengthening communities around B.C. with record infrastructure investments – an increase of $3.5 billion in this budget.
- Helping thousands of people find new jobs in sectors like health care through investments in post-secondary education and skills training programs.
- Ensuring more than 5,000 young people land jobs, internships and co-ops through the StrongerBC Future Leaders program, and 3,000 students benefit from new work integrated learning placements.
- Building 9,000 new homes for middle-income families with $2 billion in development financing.
- Supporting tourism businesses and communities with $120 million, including grants to help prepare for future visitors through new tourism infrastructure like trails and airport improvements.
- Reducing emissions, protecting communities, expanding the economy and creating careers through an additional $506 million in CleanBC investments.
- Making annual funding permanent to improve connectivity across B.C.
- Helping high-potential businesses grow in B.C. through funding provided by InBC, a new $500-million strategic investment fund that will deliver economic, environmental and social returns.