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

Public input sought on proposed cannabis retail store in Coombs

Application to be reviewed by Regional District of Nanaimo

Two nature-inspired artists display oil paintings at Qualicum gallery

Judy Maxwell and Lloyd Major depict scenes of wildlife, landscapes and the west coast

Parksville seniors getting stronger with age

Weightlifting couple qualify to compete at Worlds Masters in Montreal in August

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Cougar on Island might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Explosives unit brought in after suspicious boxes left at B.C. RCMP detachment

Nanaimo RCMP issues all clear after packages were found on lawn earlier in the day

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Newfoundland man caught after posting photo of himself drinking and driving

The 19-year-old took a photo of himself holding a beer bottle and cigarette while at the wheel

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

Most Read