VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

The NDP’s second provincial budget released Tuesday didn’t hold too many surprises, focusing on affordability for families.

The 2019-20 financial plan includes an estimated surplus of $247 million, with future surpluses aimed as high as $585 million by 2022.

New B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit

The budget introduced a new benefit fund the government says will return nearly $400 million to families raising children, though it won’t take effect until October 2020.

For an eligible family with one child, the benefit is as high as $1,600 a year, increasing to $2,600 for two children and $3,400 for three children. Families will receive the benefit from the day their child is born until the child is 18 years old. Read more >

Income assistance boost

A person on income or disability assistance will receive an additional $50 more per month, totalling $760.

The government also announced a $15-million, three-year investment towards a new “homelessness action plan,” including 200 more modular housing units. Read more >

No more interest on student loans

Effective immediately, all B.C. student loans stop accumulating interest. This means upwards of $2,300 in savings over a 10-year period for someone with $28,000 in provincial and federal loans.

Big focus on health services

The province announced the largest infrastructure investment in B.C.’s history, with a portion of the $20 billion focused on health care. This includes $4.4 billion over three years to expand and upgrade equipment at hospitals and clinics, $30 million to continue fighting the opioid overdose crisis, and $42 million to expand the Fair PharmaCare program.

Carbon tax goes up

The tax is going up five dollars, to $40 per tonne. That will help fund the $107 million budgeted to cover B.C.’s point-of-sale rebates for zero-emission vehicles over the next three years.

CleanBC also moves ahead, offering incentives for clean energy use and conservation, with a $902-million investment. Read more >

Mores funds to fight wildfires

Wildfire suppression efforts, damages and evacuation orders cost nearly half a billion dollars last summer. The province has committed $111 million over three years.

Historic Indigenous revenue-sharing model announced

B.C. Lottery Corporation revenue will be shared with Indigenous communities, starting with $100 million a year over the next three years. Roughly 200 Indigenous communities will be eligible for grants between $250,000 and $2 million each year. Read more >

Ride hailing included in B.C. budget

About $9 million will be invested over three years to modernize the taxi industry and enable ride-hailing in B.C. – a commitment made by Premier John Horgan since campaigning for office. The money will be used to enhance vehicle compliance and enforcement while supporting the Passenger Transportation Board, the provincial regulator.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: B.C. Horseshoe Association hosts Abbotsford tournament

B.C. International Highwayman Open runs on Saturday and Sunday

Fire breaks out in Abbotsford home

Crews were able to quickly douse the fire and save the structure

Recent food symposium aims to create ‘valley food culture’

Event held in Abbotsford drew 100 people form local food community

Man arrested after police standoff and fire at Abbotsford home

Suspect allegedly breached conditions to not be near victim or her home

Microbrewery seeks permission to expand food & beer servings

Council gives thumbs up to Loud Mouth Brewery’s application for a lounge endorsement

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

On-duty Vancouver police officer facing dangerous driving charges

Few details have been provided about the case

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Growing coffee, tea, lemons and papayas in the Fraser Valley

‘Anything that is grown anywhere on the planet we can grow’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

5 to start your day

Corgis put on a show at the Cloverdale Rodeo, family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras remembers him and more

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Most Read