Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James have released the province's COVID-19 economic recovery plan.
The plan outlines the government's plans to help British Columbians recover from the pandemic.
(Figure 1 shows employment rates)
(Figure 2 shows the provinces economic outlook)
Budget 2020 was presented prior to the pandemic while the first quarterly report was released last week.
“As British Columbians, we’ve been through a lot recently. We know our recovery won’t happen overnight, but by focusing on people and taking care of each other, we will ensure there are better days ahead for all of us,” said Premier Horgan. “The steps we are taking now will improve health care, get people back to work, support B.C. businesses, and strengthen our neighbourhoods and communities.”
Some of the steps taken within the plan include; (Direct from Provincial release)
- Making health care better by hiring 7,000 new front-line health-care workers. This includes thousands of health-care aides to manage outbreaks in long-term care homes and 600 contact tracers to help stop the further spread in the community. The plan will also increase support for mental health care in the workplace and introduce a new Hospital at Home initiative that will allow patients to receive medical services in their own home from a team of health professionals.
- Creating jobs and opportunities by investing in targeted and short-term training in the skills people need to get work in high-demand fields, including those who want to move into new, front-line health, child care, and human-service positions. The plan will also expand Indigenous skills training and accelerate the creation of affordable child-care spaces so that more parents, particularly women, can get back to work. It includes Office of the Premier & Ministry of Finance investments of over $100 million to support tourism-related businesses and communities.
- Helping businesses grow and rehire with a 15% refundable tax credit based on eligible new payroll. It will also introduce a small- and medium-sized business recovery grant to support approximately 15,000 hard-hit businesses while protecting as many as 200,000 jobs. Tourism operators will be eligible for a special top-up. The plan will also provide a temporary 100% PST rebate on select machinery and equipment to make it easier for eligible businesses to make the kinds of investments that will allow them to grow and become more productive.
- Supporting strong communities by investing over $400 million to revitalize community infrastructure and support local governments to provide the valuable services people depend on. This includes $100 million in infrastructure grants for shovel-ready projects that will create jobs right away. The plan also earmarks over $1 billion in provincial and federal investments to help keep people moving, whether by transit, TransLink, or BC Ferries. An additional $540 million in combined federal/ provincial funding will help B.C. communities address other local challenges impacted by COVID-19.
Further details and the full report at https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/
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