British Columbia This Week

What to Expect

B.C. Government Tables 2022 Budget

Today British Columbia’s Finance Minister Selina Robinson delivered the provincial budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year.Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and major flood and fire events in the past year, B.C.’s economic outlook remains relatively positive with a shrinking deficit and projected GDP growth at 4.3 per cent.

Budget 2022 includes an updated forecast deficit of $483 million for 2021-22, less than the $9.7 billion projected in Budget 2021.

Today’s budget speech by Minister Robinson follows Premier John Horgan and Jobs Minister Ravi Khalon’s media availability on February 17, where they put a strong focus on training in skilled trades and major investments in infrastructure, particularly for flood and fire mitigation. As its centerpiece, the economic plan has earmarked $137 million for a new trades and technology complex at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Burnaby campus.

Overall, the budget’s main message was infrastructure investment. There will be new money for flood and fire mitigation, new roads and bridges, and investment in green technologies. The Finance Minister and Premier have also spoken about the need to fill 1 million new jobs in the trades in the next decade and that community infrastructure such as child care, health and education also need investment to accommodate expected population and economic growth.

Government of BC Budget News Release: https://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2022/accessibility/2022-news-release.htm

Budget Highlights: https://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2022/pdf/2022_Highlights.pdf

Budget and Fiscal Plan: https://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2022/pdf/2022_Budget_and_Fiscal_Plan.pdf

The Week That Was

Workers and equipment were attacked at a Coastal GasLink construction site. About 20 unknown people armed with axes smashed vehicles and attacked workers.

The Provincial Health Order has been updated to help accommodate the safe transition back into the workplace.

In an effort to reduce the cost of home ownership, Housing Minister David Ebay told the Canadian Press that some power of permitting may need to be taken away from municipalities to encourage construction.

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