Minister of Finance Carole James delivers the budget speech from the legislative assembly at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

The B.C. NDP’s third budget, released Tuesday, continued the provincial government’s focus on capital spending while keeping a balanced budget.

The 2020-21 financial plan includes an estimated surplus of $227 million. Meanwhile the total provincial debt is forecast to be about $70.6 billion.

ALSO READ: Protesters barricade Premier John Horgan’s home ahead of B.C. budget unveiling

Here’s a look at the top highlights from this year’s budget:

Record spending on infrastructure

Finance Minister Carole James unveiled a record $22.9 billion in funds to be used over the next three years on infrastructure projects. That includes an already-announced new hospital in Fort St. James, the Pattullo Bridge replacement project and widening of the Trans-Canada Highway through Kicking Horse Canyon.

ICBC ‘dumpster fire’ to be back in black

The province has pledged that ICBC will show a surplus of $86 million by end of the fiscal year – a notable turnaround from the $1 billion deficit annually in the past two years. Read more >

Taxing pop drinkers

Starting July 1, a seven per cent provincial sales tax will added to pop and other sweetened carbonated drinks. The province estimates this will generate roughly $27 million in additional tax revenue this fiscal year. Read more >

New tax for the superwealthy one per cent of income earners

Those who earn more than $220,000 – also known as the top one per cent of income earners in B.C. – will be seeing a new tax rate on their personal income statements, starting this year.

The B.C. government has announced a new rate of 20.5 per cent on taxable income for the superwealthy, up from 16.8 per cent. The tax hike, marking the second increase in three years, will bring in an additional $216 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year, the province estimates. Read more >

Forest industry gets ‘revitalization’ funding

James’ third NDP budget contains a new $13 million fund for “economic development and revitalization” of the B.C. forest sector, hard hit by reduced allowable cut in the Interior and high harvest costs that have shut down logging on much of the B.C. Coast and Vancouver Island.

The budget for forests ministry operations for the fiscal year beginning April 1 is $844 million. Read more >

More shelter beds for homeless

The province announced an extra $50 million in new funding over three years to help shelter B.C.’s homeless population, including the creation of 500 new shelter spaces.

New money for more teachers

The B.C. Teachers’ Federation will have $339 million more in funding to hire 4,200 new teachers over the next three years – but that doesn’t include more wages for existing teachers.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

B.C. Budget 2020

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

Just Posted

West Shore woman’s dog found in Colwood more than two weeks after going missing

Isla went missing on March 10 and was found 17 days later

Saanich police ticket two speeders before 9 a.m., Saturday

Officers still actively enforcing road safety amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Painted fence in Langford shows thanks for essential workers amid COVID-19

Community members finding unique ways to show their appreciation

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Antibody tests could be the next step in fighting COVID-19, Island doctor says

The blood test could show if a person is recovering or has recovered from the virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read