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

Just Posted

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Cadboro Bay teen meets with minister after advocacy against Coastal GasLink

15-year-old Claremont student and George Heyman discussed the project for about 30 minutes

The Victoria International Airport saw its revenues plummet in 2020. Officials hope a proposed warehouse will be a significant revenue generator. (Black Press Media file photo)
Head of Victoria Airport Authority makes economic pitch for Sidney warehouse project

Geoff Dickson said Sidney stands to earn $325,000 in annual taxes

Participants take part in a previous Walk for Alzheimer’s. This year’s event is being held virtually and participants are asked to set a walking or fitness challenge during May. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria residents invited to set fitness challenge for Alzheimer’s

IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s goes virtual during the month of May

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich health and safety manager named one of Canada’s top 40 women in safety

Canadian Occupational Safety magazine celebrates women leading safety sector in 2021

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read