2021 federal and provincial budgets were released this week. Both budgets have a strong focus on getting us through the COVID-19 pandemic and building for the future.
BC Finance Minister Selina Robinson tabled the 2021 provincial Budget in the legislature on Tuesday, April 20. The budget includes additional support for many of the programs and initiatives announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year, both for immediate relief and for long-term recovery.
The Province is making significant investments in health care, in both programming and infrastructure. $900 million in new funding will cover pandemic-related costs such as testing, contact tracing, and the vaccination program. $7.8 billion has been allocated to capital investments, including the new Cowichan District Hospital on Bell McKinnon Road.
Supports for individuals and families were also announced, including free public transportation for children 12 years and under, more affordable child care spaces, the first ever increase to the Senior’s Supplement, and the largest permanent increase to income assistance and disability assistance. Businesses will also receive support, mainly through support for programs announced in the last year, and with a focus on hard-hit industries, such as tourism.
Budget 2021 also aims to build the foundation for strong economic recovery in BC. Jobs will be created through infrastructure investments, funding for education and training programs, and student work integrated learning placements. Support was also announced for the Homes for BC strategy, the CleanBC strategy, and the InBC strategic investment fund. After a recent one-time investment in connectivity, stable base funding of $40 million over three years was announced to expand high-speed internet and cellular coverage.
For more information on BC’s 2021 budget, visit https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FIN0023-000744.
Federal Finance Minister Christia Freeland tabled the 2021 federal budget in the House of Commons on Monday, April 19. Canada’s Budget 2021 focuses on job creation, small business support, climate action and the green economy, support for women, early learning and child care, and for young Canadians. As with the provincial budget, existing programs and many launched during the last year will receive additional support, and a number of new programs will be created.
For more information on the 2021 federal budget, visit https://www.budget.gc.ca/.