Recovery focuses on inclusion, sustainability and innovation: Robinson

The money will be used to expand professions and connect communities to high-speed Internet

Content of the article

Finance Minister Selina Robinson hopes that targeted spending in areas such as skilled education, life sciences research and mineral exploration will support the government’s goal of creating a more “inclusive, sustainable and innovative economy.”

Advertising

Content of the article

The budget for 2022-2023 includes an initial $ 50 million to support elements of the government’s economic plan released last week, $ 21 million to increase places in training programs and $ 289 million over five years to accelerate the connectivity of 280 small communities to high level. high speed internet.

“A key component of our government’s thinking is that the state of our economy depends not only on our economic growth and our financial strength,” Robinson said in a presentation to reporters, but also that economic growth is common across the province and how this fiscal force reflects our values. ”

The budget, however, draws on continued economic growth, which is projected to increase by 4% in 2022 and 2.5% next year, and a demographic picture that will collectively create a million vacancies over the next decade.

Advertising

Content of the article

And while BC businesses welcomed the expansion of more affordable childcare services and the training of qualified professionals, businesses hoped to get more into the budget to eliminate the rising cost of doing business.

A survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that 91 percent of respondents did not think the government was focused enough on tackling the rising costs they face, such as fuel, CPP bonuses, paid hospital costs and taxes. .

“CFIB recognizes that the province has coped well with the pandemic, allowing businesses to stay open as much as possible, but small businesses are still in survival mode,” said Annie Dormut, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs.

Dormut called the budget for 2022-23 a lost opportunity to help small businesses.

Advertising

Content of the article

“We are approaching a two-year pandemic, and only 35 per cent of small businesses in Britain have returned to normal sales and (each) have accumulated $ 129,000 in debt related to COVID-19,” Dormut said.

The budget did not have enough financial details to support many of the government’s plans. Thus, according to Bridget Anderson, CEO of the Grand Vancouver Trade Council, he “has limited incentives for economic growth and competitiveness”.

It “does not affect the necessary tax and regulatory reforms, especially for our small and medium-sized businesses,” Anderson said.

Robinson, however, said the government would “continue to make investments” where it already is.

“I’ve certainly heard from businesses over the years that make sure we have good childcare that will make a big difference for them,” Robinson said. people work ”.

Advertising

Content of the article

The biggest ticket is $ 195 million for Genome BC and Michael Smith Health Research BC to “accelerate” growth in the province’s life sciences sector, which, as Robinson noted, has made a significant contribution to the development of vaccines against COVID-19.

The budget provides another $ 18 million over three years for the regulatory restructuring of mining through a strategy of excellence in mining that has become a success story in the resource sector. Robinson said last year the BC had more than $ 600 million in mineral exploration, the highest figure in 10 years.

The economic picture of BC is not without problems.

Robinson’s fiscal plan includes $ 185 million over three years for communities dependent on forests affected by planned delays in deforestation in 26,000 square miles of forest.

Advertising

Content of the article

This will be new money over the next three years in addition to support from the current fiscal year that has been paid out of contingencies.

In a speech on the budget, Robinson said the money is intended to cover retirement for workers over the age of 55 with payments of $ 75,000 per person, but will also include revitalizing the society’s economy and retraining in new areas.

Over the past year, businesses have sought from the government more confidence in what it considers non-participation in decision-making in the postponement process.

Robinson, however, said the government’s plan to redistribute some of its variable forest holdings among the first nations would create additional opportunities for partnership with communities.

depenner@postmedia.com

Advertising

Comments

Postmedia is committed to supporting a lively but civic forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Moderating comments can take up to an hour before they appear on the site. We ask that your comments be relevant and respectful. We’ve included email notifications – you will now receive an email when you receive a response to your comment, there is an update in the comment chain you are following, or if the user you are following is commenting. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to set up email settings.

Leave a Comment