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

Royal Roads University president Philip Steenkamp said they are aware of hateful graffiti spray-painted in an area of the forest surrounding the campus. The graffiti in question includes anti-Semitic content and a racial slur towards Black people. (Facebook/Royal Roads University)
Anti-Semitic, hateful graffiti spotted in forest near Royal Roads University

Royal Roads working with West Shore RCMP to remove graffiti “as soon as possible”

A cougar was spotted at Royal Roads University on Sunday, Jan. 24. The sighting was reported on the western edge of the campus. (File photo)
Cougar spotted at Royal Roads University Sunday afternoon

Animal reported on western side of campus near Langford Fire Department

Saanich-based St. Luke’s Players community theatre company has been making the most of their opportunities to keep busy during the pandemic, including staging a Christmastime panto of Alice in Wonderland on Zoom. (Courtesy St. Luke’s Players)
Saanich’s St. Luke’s Players: Bringing the stage to the people

Community theatre company holding online auditions Jan. 23-24 for March production

Frank Bourree was awarded the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s first Governors’ Award of Distinction for his leadership in the business community. (Courtesy of Frank Bourree)
Frank Bourree receives award of distinction from Victoria chamber

Award recognizes positive role model in business community

The Habitat for Humanity Meaning of Home contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 6. (Screenshot/Habitat for Humanity video)
Habitat for Humanity launches national writing contest

Entries accepted from students in Grades 4 to 6 until Feb. 19

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo mountain with flares during icy rope rescue

Rescuers got injured hiker down Mt. Benson to a waiting ambulance Saturday night

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

Most Read