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

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

Victoria retirement community celebrates 403 years of life

Four women over 100 celebrate at The Wellesley

CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

District launches public engagement campaign for waste reduction strategies

18-year-old man stabbed near Langford bus exchange

The West Shore RCMP is looking for witnesses to the Oct. 11 incident

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read