B.C. government to release first budget update

Premier John Horgan and the NDP promised a number of costly initiatives on the campaign trail

British Columbia’s finance minister has hinted that anyone looking for surprises in today’s budget update will likely be disappointed.

Carole James says the first financial blueprint put forward by the New Democrat government will outline commitments that were made on the election campaign last spring and reiterated in Friday’s throne speech, which kicked off the latest legislative session.

READ: NDP inherits $2.7 billion surplus, eyes spending

The speech promised increases in welfare and disability rates, the elimination of tolls on two bridges in the Lower Mainland, and funding for education to comply with a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the size and composition of B.C. classrooms.

Premier John Horgan and the NDP promised a number of costly initiatives on the campaign trail, such as $10-a-day daycare, investments in public transit and expanded health-care infrastructure, including new hospitals and patient care centres.

Today’s budget update will mark the first time Horgan’s government has put forward a financial plan, and James has downplayed the announcement, saying September is when most governments begin work on full budgets that are presented in February.

Public accounts figures released in late August indicate the province finished off the past fiscal year with a $2.7-billion surplus.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

UPDATE: Wind warning has ended for Metro Vancouver

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blanked by Portland Winterhawks

Saturday’s 2-0 setback marks first regulation loss for G-Men in 10 games

Langley Clothes by the Pound closes

Thrift store that tried to introduce a new approach to bargain hunting may have gone out of business

Proposal to ban pot dispensaries in White Rock would affect Langley businessman

Randy Caine and partners hope to open dispensaries once laws are changed

Mom delivers plastic mats to Langley’s homeless

Jenifer Kosman fashions sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read