British Columbia This Week

What to Expect

With the legislative session ending last week, political watchers are turning their attention to any potential changes coming to the B.C. Cabinet that will be announced and sworn in on December 7. The creation of a stand-alone Ministry of Housing follows Premier Eby’s stated priority of addressing housing affordability issues within his first 100 days in office. The importance of the file means that the new Minister will likely be an experienced legislator who has previously spent time in a ministerial position, creating the opportunity for movement within current cabinet portfolios.

The Week That Was

Last week, Premier David Eby announced a new ministry with an exclusive focus on housing within the province. The Minister of Housing will be announced on December 7, along with the rest of Premier Eby’s Cabinet.

According to B.C.’s most recent fiscal update, the province has a $5.7 billion operating surplus, which is a $5 billion increase from the first quarterly fiscal update. The drastic increase is primarily attributed to the update from the Canada Revenue Agency for the filed 2021 personal and corporate income tax.

The province continues to introduce new measures to tackle the increase in cost-of-living, with the government announcing the following measures since this summer:

  • $395 million for ICBC rebates delivered in summer 2022
  • $64 million for the School Affordability Fund in fall 2022
  • $1 billion for Climate Action Tax Credit and B.C. Affordability Credit increases in October 2022 and January 2023
  • $320 million for a one-time B.C. Hydro bill credit for BC Hydro customers this winter
  • $100 million for enhanced B.C. Family Benefit payments from January to March 2023

 

On Sunday, Premier Eby and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced measures intended to increase the number of family doctors in the province by recruiting more internationally trained physicians and relaxing credential requirements for doctors trained abroad.

Orders in Council

OIC 626/2022 – Appoints Jessica Heather Wallace Prince as an Assistant Deputy Minister within the Office of the Premier.

OIC 627/2022 – Appoints Huiyuan Liu as a Ministerial Advisor within the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.

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