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: 5X Festival takes over Surrey’s Central City plaza

Second annual event draws thousands of people throughout the day

VIDEO: Plane makes forced landing on Highway 17 in Surrey

Police say no one was injured and no damage to aircraft or vehicles

City shifts proposed transit station to King George after cancellation of LRT

Council to consider Newton Town Centre plan in fall

Nearly 200 motorcycles take off from Cloverdale for Brenden’s Ride

Annual fundraiser supports programs that empower people with disabilities

Charges of assault with a weapon and uttering threats approved against Delta man

Wyatt James Culbertson, 38, faces nine charges stemming from events that took place March 17 and 30

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read