Premier John Horgan and Carole James, Minister of Finance, have released Stronger BC for Everyone: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.
The plan outlines the latest steps the Government of British Columbia is taking to help people, businesses and communities recover and come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared. BC’s total provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic exceeds $8.25 billion.
“As British Columbians, we’ve been through a lot recently. We know our recovery won’t happen overnight, but by focusing on people and taking care of each other, we will ensure there are better days ahead for all of us,” said Premier Horgan. “The steps we are taking now will improve health care, get people back to work, support B.C. businesses and strengthen our neighbourhoods and communities.”
British Columbia entered the pandemic as an economic leader in Canada, making it among the best-positioned provinces to support a strong recovery. Since moving forward with a safe restart plan in mid-May, BC has had stronger-than-expected consumer spending, housing activity and employment gains. As of August 2020, almost 250,000 jobs had been restored, equal to 62% of the total jobs lost due to the pandemic.
“When COVID-19 first hit, we acted quickly to keep people safe and support those in need. While we are now starting to see hopeful signs of recovery, we know many people are still struggling and there is a lot of work left to do,” said James. “British Columbians are pulling together, and we’ll be there to support them every step of the way. Our province has a strong foundation to build a recovery that creates opportunities for all.”
The next steps in BC’s recovery plan will help build a stronger, more resilient economy for everyone.
The plan includes $1.5 billion in economic recovery spending measures that respond to immediate needs. This money was earmarked for recovery spending in the spring. It is in addition to $660 million in tax measures and more than $1.86 billion in federal and provincial restart funding for municipalities, transit and education. It also builds on BC’s record $22-billion investment in public infrastructure over the next three years. Those capital projects are estimated to create 100,000 direct and indirect jobs over the life of the projects.
The next steps in BC’s recovery plan build on the progress it has made with new investments to support programs that will help expand CleanBC, reduce air pollution and tackle climate change, while preparing for its impacts and creating good, new jobs.
In developing the plan, BC engaged nearly 50,000 British Columbians in every region of the province, to hear their priorities and ideas through online surveys and virtual or telephone town halls. Premier Horgan and James also convened a series of meetings with business, labour and Indigenous groups, economists, youth, green technology experts, faith leaders and many more. The plan reflects what the Government of B.C. heard during these extensive public consultations.
The BC Green Party caucus was consulted on the development of this plan, which builds on shared priorities in the Confidence and Supply Agreement, including creating jobs, acting on climate change and building a sustainable economy that works for people.
Find out more and download the full report at: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
Find out more about the public engagement at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/recoveryideas/
Read the news release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PREM0052-001780
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