B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)

Carole James stays on to advise B.C. Premier John Horgan

Retired finance minister to earn a dollar a year

Retired former NDP leader and finance minister Carole James has agreed to B.C. Premier John Horgan’s request to help him navigate the coming year of economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.

Horgan said his long-time friend and colleague in the B.C. legislature since they were both elected in 2005 can offer her expertise and calm leadership in a part-time capacity, as she deals with a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis that led her to announce her retirement last spring. He expressed hope that James would continue longer into the NDP government’s four-year majority mandate.

“I’m going to pay her the princely sum of a dollar,” Horgan told reporters after his new cabinet was sworn in last week by video conference. “I offered her five bucks for a five-year contract. She said, ‘I’ll take it a dollar at a time.’”

RELATED: B.C. mayors call for resource development role in recovery

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 recovery point man calls for teamwork

Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson moves from municipal affairs and housing to the finance ministry, inheriting a coronavirus-driven deficit that is closing in on $13 billion for the fiscal year ending in March. Robinson’s first task is to deliver on Horgan’s election promise of pandemic recovery payments of $1,000 per household or $500 per individual to most people in the province, which is expected to add another $1.4 billion to the deficit, then produce another budget for the coming year.

James led borrowing of $5 billion for B.C.’s initial pandemic relief this summer, including $1,000 payments to anyone who qualified for federal emergency aid due to lost income from COVID-19 restrictions. About $1.5 billion of that remains to be paid out to businesses, another immediate priority of the NDP government.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ballenas Secondary in Parksville. (Google Maps)
COVID-19: Case confirmed at Ballenas Secondary School in Parksville

Contact tracing expected to be concluded by the end of day

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

Nanoose Bay author and poet Susan Pederson holds her book, ‘How Many Times Can You Say Goodbye?’, which is encompasses undelivered notes written to her best friend who was dying of cancer at the time. (PQB News file photo)
Nanoose Bay poet discusses hope in latest dance video

Pederson: ‘We all have something that we can do that will keep us going’

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read