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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Most Read