Last month, our government presented Budget 2021: A Stronger BC for Everyone. This budget is about helping people now and creating the conditions for a strong economic recovery. It’s about responding to the challenges of the pandemic and preparing us for the future. I’d like to share just some of the highlights about how this budget will work for you:
- Protecting people’s health and safety: We’re investing $900 million to bolster COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and the vaccine rollout, as part of $4 billion in total new health and mental health investments. Budget 2021 also features the largest mental health investment in BC history. We’re building a better network of mental health supports for youth and expanding the response to the overdose crisis.
- Investing in people and communities: New investments will support people and make life more affordable. This includes free public transportation for kids 12 and under, doubling the number of $10-a-day child care spaces, and a $2 billion investment to build homes for middle-income families.
- Supporting BC’s businesses: Ongoing supports will help businesses to get through the pandemic and plan for a resilient future. We’re providing incentives for employers who hire more people this year, relief grants for bars, restaurants and gyms impacted by current circuit-breaker public health measures, and expanding the Grow BC, Feed BC, Buy BC strategy to support our farmers and food producers.
Staying at home when you’re sick or going to work and getting paid has also been a difficult choice for many people. That’s why we’re supporting workers with three days of paid sick leave for issues related to COVID-19. This will help reduce transmission, keep workplaces safe and bridge the gap to additional support programs. It will also be a first step towards a permanent paid sick leave for every worker who is sick or injured. You can read the full details here: gov.bc.ca/covid-paid-leave.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve faced challenges that we never could have imagined, but British Columbians are resilient, and your provincial government has your back. Together, we’ll make health care better; create new opportunities for people; and help our BC businesses grow.
As always, if you have questions or need any assistance with vaccination information, provincial COVID-19 supports, or any other provincial issue, please reach out. My office can be reached at 604-936-8709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.