Lt. Governor Janet Austin takes oath to serve as the Queen’s representative in B.C., April 24, 2018. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

Lt. Governor Janet Austin takes oath to serve as the Queen’s representative in B.C., April 24, 2018. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)

B.C. throne speech predicts ‘better days ahead’ with COVID-19

Premier John Horgan vows health care, child care support

The B.C. government is promising to “ramp up investments” in child care and transportation projects to help the province recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, after a round of relief payments to all but the highest-earning B.C. families to begin rolling out by the end of the year.

“Already we can see signs of better days ahead, as science and research lead the way with new treatments and vaccines,” Lt. Gov. Janet Austin said Dec. 7, delivering the speech from the throne to open a brief session of the B.C. legislature. “Preparations are underway for when a vaccine is available. The focus will be distributing it to British Columbians quickly and safely, beginning with those most at risk.”

The speech listed the B.C. government’s measures to date since the pandemic took hold in B.C. early in 2020, including the expansion of senior home staff and infection control measures through the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

“Your government will ramp up investments in transportation infrastructure, which will stimulate growth during the recovery period and benefit British Columbians through shorter commute times and greener transportation,” said the speech, written by the premier’s office to set out priorities for 2021. “Expanding child care and early learning is another strong economic development policy. By creating jobs and allowing more parents to go to work, it counts as strategic economic infrastructure as much as roads and highways.”

RELATED: New speaker takes charge as B.C. legislature resumes

RELATED: Another $1.5 billion in COVID-19 payments ‘prudent’

The speech confirms that the NDP majority government will put an estimated $1.5 billion in new borrowing to a vote to pay across-the-board relief of $1,000 for families earning up to $125,000 and $500 to individuals who make up to $62,000, with a “sliding scale” of payments up to $170,000 per family or $87,000 individual income.

A throne speech statement from Horgan adjusted the top family income for the benefit from $175,000 in the NDP’s fall election platform to $170,000, and promised further business aid.

“Government will also take significant steps to assist small- and medium-sized businesses in weathering the economic storm caused by COVID-19,” the statement said. “New tax maeasures will reward businesses for hiring, and help them grow and become more productive by making it easier for them to invest in equipment and machinery.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

Cole Schisler, editor of the Ladysmith Chronicle.
Hatred has no place anywhere

We accomplish so much more when we respect each other

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Rachel Dunstan Muller. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith storyteller Rachel Dunstan Muller launches pair of podcasts

Hintertales: Stories from the Margins of History and Sticks and Stones and Stories are available now

(Black Press file photo)
Multiple vehicle collision at Grouhel Road stalls highway traffic

Two emergency services helicopters responded to the collision

Chemainus Festival of Murals Society president Tom Andrews displays the Chemainus Dollars $10 bill with the same scene on it as The Native Heritage mural. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Dollars revert to being strictly souvenirs on April 5

Unique currency turns collectible under the Festival of Murals Society

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Most Read