Working For People


After 16 years of BC Liberal government neglect on the issues that are important to British Columbians, Premier John Horgan and the New Democrat government have been making different choices to make life better for people across the province.
While there is still much more to do, the New Democrat government has accomplished a lot to make life more affordable, improve the services you count on, and build a strong, sustainable economy.

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Advanced Education & Skills Training | Affordability |  Agriculture and Aquaculture | Arts, Sports, and TourismChildcare | Children and Families | Diversity and Human Rights | Economy  | Education | Environment and Climate Change | Good GovernmentHealthcare  | Housing | Jobs | Mental Health and Addictions  | Poverty Reduction | Public Safety |Reconciliation | Rural Communities | TransportationWorkers’ Rights 


Advanced Education and Skills Training

  • Reestablished needs-based student grants, which were cancelled by the BC Liberals, to make post-secondary education and training more affordable for thousands of students throughout B.C.
  • Restored tuition-free Adult Basic Education and English Language Learning, removing roadblocks set up by the BC Liberals for people wanting to upgrade and pursue their dreams.
  • Eliminated interest on British Columbia student loans, helping to ensure that students who have to borrow for their education don’t end up paying more than those who don’t.
  • Funded 27,000+ apprenticeship and foundation training seats in public and private institutes in Budget 2019 to ensure B.C. has the skilled workers we need.
  • Launched a new $20 million training program so people can get the skills they need to help them find good jobs as the economy recovers.
  • Provided emergency funding so students have access to assistance to help them cope with the financial pressures caused by COVID-19.  
  • As part of our commitment to add 2,900 tech seats by 2023 at public post-secondary institutions, we funded 1,900 tech seats in 2020-21 throughout the province.  
  • Eliminated post-secondary tuition and provided additional funding for living expenses for former youth in care, up to age 27. As of March 2021, 1,565 former youth in care have been able to attend post-secondary and work towards their dreams.
  • Invested nearly $14 million to help thousands of youth, women and under-represented groups to get apprenticeships and employment in the skilled trades.
  • Investing in more programs for health care workers so people can begin rewarding careers and so that the health care system has the skilled work force it needs to provide care. 
  • Funded the first Indigenous law degree program in all of Canada at UVic – answering Article 50 of TRC.
  • Invested $12 million to support graduate degree scholarships for Masters and Doctoral degree students.
  • Adding 2,900 new tech-related seats at public colleges and universities in new and expanded programs across the province.
  • Eliminated post-secondary tuition and provided additional funding for living expenses for former youth in care, up to age 27. With this elimination of fees, so far over 1119 former youth in care have been able to attend post-secondary and work towards their dreams.
  • Invested in open education resources including more open textbooks for students and instructors, reducing the burden of cost and levelling the playing field for students at post-secondary institutions across the province.
  • Invested funding for new skills training and employment programs for survivors of violence and abuse, older workers, adult learners and people facing multiple barriers to employment to empower people to achieve their educational and professional goals.
  • Expanded program spaces and bursary funding for those wanting to pursue a career in child care as an early childhood educator (ECE), as part of the Province’s commitment to create a universal child care system in B.C.
  • Created the first nursing degree program in the Northeast and increased funding to create a number of additional seats in programs such as: occupational and physical therapy,  and trades.
  • More than doubled the number of specialty nurse training opportunities in the province by funding 1,000 seats each year at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
  • The first province in Canada to develop an Electric Vehicle Maintenance Training Program to make sure the province’s workforce has the skills and training needed to support more electric vehicles on the road.
  • Opened new state-of-the-art facilities to support SFU sustainable energy engineering students, students preparing for careers in the health and social services sectors at Camosun College with the Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Health and Wellness and Selkirk College trades students.
  • Launched a sexual violence prevention campaign at all of British Columbia’s public post-secondary campuses to educate students, faculty, staff and the broader public about consent, because people deserve to feel safe and free from potential sexual violence.
  • Provided $9 million to expand co-op and work-integrated learning at post-secondary institutions so students will have more opportunities to gain real-life, relevant work experience that will give them a leg-up in their careers.
  • Launched a made-in-B.C. certification system to support higher-paying, more stable work for trades workers and to help build the foundation of a strong economic recovery.

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Affordability

  • The largest middle-class tax reduction in a generation with the full elimination of MSP premiums and the new B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit:
    • For example, a family of four earning $60,000 will have their provincial taxes reduced by up to 60% compared to 2016, putting more than $2,500 back into this family’s pocket. A family of four earning $80,000 will have their provincial taxes reduced by up to 43%.
  • Removed unfair tolls on the Port Mann Bridge and Golden Ears Bridge, saving commuters in the lower mainland up to $1,500 a year.
  • Increased the climate action tax credit by 70% compared to 2017, to put up to $500 back into the pockets of BC families by 2021 and then in 2020 boosted this tax credit in order to give an additional $450 back to families to support people during the pandemic.  
  • Eliminated interest on British Columbia student loans, helping to ensure that students who have to borrow for their education don’t end up paying more than those who don’t.
  • Launched a process of studying solutions to bring more transparency, flexibility, and affordability in cellphone bills for British Columbians.
  • Introduced tougher rules on cheque-cashing fees and payday loan businesses to better protect consumers.
  • Made live-event ticket sales fairer, by eliminating ticket bots and mass-buying software, and by bringing in consumer protections and fairer processes for people.
  • Took action to lower drug costs by making record investments in Fair PharmaCare, helping to negotiate a new national generics agreement and expanding the use of biosimilar drugs.
  • Froze ferry fares on all major BC Ferries routes, reduced fares on smaller routes, and restored the 100% Mon-Thurs seniors discount.
  • Invested in creating more than 1,600 new campsites since 2017 to increase access to the outdoors for British Columbians.  
  • Cleaning up the financial mess at ICBC left by the BC Liberals, including transforming ICBC to deliver lower auto-insurance rates and dramatically improve care benefits for those injured in a crash. 
  • Launched a comprehensive two-phased review of BC Hydro to clean up the mess of the previous BC Liberal government and keep rates low, allowing BC Hydro to reduce rates for the first time in decades.
  • Created access to free menstrual products for public school students and vulnerable populations across B.C.
  • Made it free to access the BC Building Code online, making it easier for students, contractors, businesses and local governments to access these important codes for their studies and work.
  • Opening eight new legal clinics around B.C. as part of a $2-million investment to improve affordable access to justice.
  • Brought in greater transparency and accountability to how fuel is priced in B.C.
  • Made changes to strata insurance regulations to help address the rising cost of strata insurance in B.C. and bring further transparency to the industry.
  • Supported individuals and families to make ends meet during the pandemic with the B.C. Recovery Benefit$1,000 for families and $500 for individuals. 

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Agriculture and Aquaculture

  • Boosted B.C.’s agriculture industry and connected people to products grown and made in B.C. by relaunching Buy BC, and expanded the program to include Grow BC and Feed BC.
  • Committed $8.3 million over three years to develop the B.C. Food Hub Network,  linking food producers and processors with shared technology, research and development, production equipment, expertise and services.
  • Increased housing flexibility on ALR land by allowing farmers to have small secondary homes. 
  • Protected B.C.’s farmland by addressing mega-mansions and speculation on ALR land.
  • Established rigorous new rules and expectations for the renewal of salmon farm tenures in B.C. waters.
  • Created the Wild Salmon Advisory Council which developed a made-in-B.C. Wild Salmon Strategy, as part of our government’s commitment to support restoring healthy and abundant wild salmon stocks in B.C. and are partnering with the federal government to fund projects to restore fish habitat and protect vulnerable wild Pacific salmon through the BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund
  • Led a ground-breaking government-to-government process to chart a path forward in the Broughton Archipelago, ensuring the safety of wild salmon and economic opportunities for First Nations and local communities.
  • Supported access to affordable farmland for young farmers through the B.C. Land Matching Program.
  • Supporting farmers and ranchers through B.C.’s new AgriStability Enhancement Program to help producers recover from tough times.
  • Launched a Regenerative Agriculture and Agritech Network (RAAN) that will help farmers adopt the latest technology to increase profitability and environmental sustainability, while strengthening the provincial food system.
  • Created a new meat licensing system that supports farm businesses and makes it easier for B.C. families to buy, serve and enjoy meat raised in their own communities

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Arts, Sports, and Tourism

  • Established AMPLIFY BC, the province’s new music fund aimed at supporting people working in our diverse music industry.
  • Supported our province’s vibrant communities and creative economy by boosting funding for the BC Arts Council and Creative BC.
  • Helped people who live and work in resort municipalities with more stable investments to better support our tourism industry.
  • Invested $2.5-million over three years so that Sport BC can expand programs aimed at increasing participation by children who are often under-represented in sport, including children from lower-income families, Indigenous children, children and youth with disabilities, girls, and newcomers to Canada.
  • Partnered with Indigenous Tourism BC to help grow opportunities for people and tourism businesses around the province.
  • Created a new $2-million Arts Infrastructure Program for arts and culture venues in BC.
  • Supporting B.C.’s music industry so people can plan for the future and be employed in this sector long-term with $22.5 million through Amplify BC. 
  • Providing $15 million in relief for amateur sport so people can continue to have access to these opportunities.  
  • Created a $105 million relief funding stream for the tourism sector to respond to challenges brought on by Covid-19. 

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Child Care

  • Since the launch of Childcare BC in 2018, invested an historic $2 billion in child care over three years, to build the strong foundation for the inclusive, universal child care system B.C. families need.
  • Funded more than 26,000 new licensed child care spaces since July 2018, as part of our Childcare BC plan.
  • Launched the Fee Reduction Initiative and the Affordable Child Care Benefit, which since February 2018 has helped parents save up to $1,600 a month, per child, for a total of nearly $763 million going to families.
  • Investing in Early Childhood Educators by providing wage enhancements, bursaries, on-the-job training opportunities and other measures designed to support professionals at the centre of B.C.’s child care system.
    • To date, we have invested over $62 million to provide more than 13,800 early childhood educators with a wage enhancement. We raised the ECE wage by $1-per-hour, then increased it to $2 in 2020, and Budget 2021 includes an additional $2 per hour, bringing the wage enhancement to $4 per hour for ECEs, which will raise their median wage to about $25 an hour.
  • Created more than 640 new, free licensed child care spaces and expanded Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) programs that will benefit Indigenous families in over 30 communities throughout the province. Through Budget 2021 we will be supporting an additional 400 Aboriginal Head Start child care spaces.
  • Amended the School Act to allow school boards to directly operate before and after school care on school grounds.
  • Introduced legislation that recognizes the value of the child care workforce by creating a stand-alone statute for Early Childhood Educators and provides more transparency and accountability as we continue building on our progress towards an inclusive, universal child care system.
  • Expanded $10/day prototype sites which will mean almost 4,000 new $10/day spaces by this December – and 12,500 new $10/day spaces by December 2022.

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Children and Families

  • Gave foster parents and other caregivers a boost in support payments – the first increase in a decade – to provide more support to some of B.C.’s most vulnerable children and adults.
  • Ensured family members get equal pay to foster parents when they care for children through the Extended Family Program so that Indigenous children can be cared for in their communities.
  • Increased funding and supports under the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) Program by:
    • Removing barriers for youth leaving care by supporting tuition waivers and helping with living expenses for their post-secondary studies up to age 27.
    • Increasing the needs-based monthly support rate by up to $250, to a maximum of $1,250.
    • Allowing for year-round financial support, so young people can continue to receive supports during school program breaks.
  • Ended the discriminatory practice of hospital ‘birth alerts’.
  • Expanded the province’s program of respite care for families with children who have special needs, benefiting more than 1,300 additional families.

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Diversity and Human Rights

  • Appointed B.C.’s first Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, Mitzi Dean, and using Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to ensure gender equality is reflected in all budgets, policies, and programs.
  • Re-established a B.C. human rights commission after it was dismantled by the BC Liberals in 2002.
  • Appointed Kasari Govender as B.C.’s first independent human rights commissioner.
  • Introduced an X gender option on B.C.-issued identity documents for British Columbians who do not identify as male or female.
  • Co-developed legislation with B.C. First Nations to establish UNDRIP as the framework for reconciliation in British Columbia.
  • All of B.C.’s schools now have SOGI-inclusive codes of conduct in place, ensuring schools are safe and inclusive for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
  • Supported Indigenous communities and organizations to end gender-based violence by funding community-driven projects through Giving Voice that support, teach and celebrate Indigenous women throughout B.C.
  • Safeguarded British Columbians’ freedom of speech and expression by passing anti-SLAPP legislation.
  • Provided $200,000 for the June 2019 Feminists Deliver conference in downtown Vancouver, to support work on gender equality and collaboration among local women’s groups.
  • Launched the Builders Code, an initiative with industry partners aimed at retaining more women in the construction trades by creating a supportive, inclusive work environment that works for everyone.
  • Prioritized women’s representation, increasing the number of women on public sector boards by 41% from 2017. Women now make up over 49% of public sector board members in British Columbia.
  • Revamped BC’s Multiculturalism Grants program to help organizations working to improve cultural interactions, reduce barriers and remove discrimination to create a more inclusive province.
  • Called on the federal government to add conversion therapy to the criminal code.
  • Investing $280,000 to support 36 communities across B.C. in delivering the Organizing Against Hate and Racism Program
  • Investing $175,000 in the Respectful Workplace, Diversity and Gender Parity Fund that supports projects aimed at fostering fair, inclusive and safe work environments in B.C.’s creative industries.
  • Launched Resilience BC, a provincewide, anti-racism network, which will provide greater focus and leadership in identifying and challenging racism across BC.
  • Announced an independent investigation into allegations of racism in the health-care system.
  • Invested $10 million to establish the Chinese Canadian Museum in Vancouver – the first in Canada.
  • Providing $1.14 million to the Abbotsford Community Foundation to create and deliver Haq and History: A Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project in collaboration with the South Asian Studies Institute of the University of the Fraser Valley and other community partners.
  • Created a racist incident hotline to provide a culturally safe venue for racialized British Columbians to report incidents, validate their experiences and obtain support services. 
  • Introduced legislation to develop accessibility standards in order identify, remove and prevent barriers in workplaces, government buildings, and the built environment to ensure all British Columbians can participate more fully in their communities.
  • Changed hard hat rules to make workplaces more inclusive for people who wear religious head coverings without compromising workplace safety

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Economy

    1. a fair return for B.C.’s natural resources,
    2. guaranteed jobs and training opportunities for British Columbians,
    3. respect and partnerships with First Nations,
    4. and protection of B.C.’s air, land and water, including living up to the Province’s climate commitments.
  • Exploring the feasibility of ultra-high-speed rail service between British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, which could have huge economic benefits, drawing new companies to the region, creating an estimated $355 billion in economic growth and up to 200,000 new jobs.
  • Created the Food Security Task Force to find new ways to use technology and innovation to strengthen B.C.’s agriculture sector and grow the economy by helping farmers farm and processors become more productive, now and in the future.
  • Invested $5 million in Geoscience BC to help attract investment, create jobs and gather data by supporting their minerals, energy and water earth science research.
  • Created the annual Buy BC: Eat Drink Local campaign, which connects local farmers, ranchers and growers with restaurateurs and chefs who develop feature menus highlighting locally grown and processed food and drinks, creating interest and growth in BC’s local food and beverage industry.
  • Established the Quantum Algorithms Institute. The institute will work with research universities throughout B.C. and will position the province as a world leader in this emerging field.
  • Launched BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan: over $8.25 billion in income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services affected by the pandemic.
  • Supporting local economic recovery through a 10 year/$6 billion joint federal-provincial investment in community infrastructure through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan.
  • Eliminated PST on select machinery and equipment so businesses, providing up to half-billion in rebates so businesses can grow back bigger and stronger following the pandemic.  
  • Created the first-of-its-kind $500-million strategic investment fundInBCto provide B.C.-based businesses to support startups, help companies scale up, and attract world-class investment, positioning our province as a front-runner in the post-pandemic economy. 
  • Launched the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program to provide relief to people recovering from the pandemic.  
  • Helping the hospitality sector recover from the pandemic by allowing restaurants and bars can purchase beer, wine, and spirits at wholesale pricessell cocktails-to-goand make temporary patios being made permanent. 

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Education

  • Over three years, we have invested nearly $2.2 billion more for B.C.’s schools than what was in Budget 2017 under the previous government.
    • Reduced class sizes and increased support in classrooms by hiring 4,200 new teachers, special education teachers, and psychologists and counsellors. Invested almost $1 million to train new specialist teachers.
    • Hired 2,000 new education assistants (EAs) to better support students with special needs.
    • Investing $2.7 billion over 3 years for new and replacement schools, expansions, and to fast-track seismic upgrades to keep kids safe.
  • To support a safe return to school for fall 2021, our government provided $43.6 million for enhanced cleaning measures, support for First Nations and Métis students, mental health services, and rapid response teams.
  • We’ve created an annual fund for school playgrounds to relieve the fundraising burden on parents. 141 new playgrounds have been built to date, benefitting more than 35,000 children throughout B.C.
  • Negotiated a BC Tripartite Education Agreement (BCTEA) with Indigenous education rights-holders that commits the federal government to provide an additional $100 million over 5 years and guarantees equal per-pupil funding of on-reserve Indigenous students with local school district students – the first and only such agreement of its kind in Canada.
  • Was the first jurisdiction in Canada to require all public schools to provide students with equitable, stigma-free access to free menstrual products in school washrooms.
  • Approved curriculum for 18 First Nations languages to be taught in B.C. schools, with more in development.

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Environment and Climate Change 

  • Invested over $1.5-billion in CleanBC, B.C.’s plan to tackle climate change, putting B.C. on the path to a cleaner, brighter, low-carbon future, while creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities.
  • Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the federal government to affirm a joint commitment to power British Columbia’s natural gas production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) sectors with clean electricity.
  • Launched Move. Commute. Connect.: B.C.’s new strategy for cleaner, more active transportation, which aims to double the percentage of trips taken with active transportation by 2030.
  • Requiring the sale of all new light-duty cars and trucks in B.C. to be zero-emission vehicles by the year 2040, removing a major source of air pollution and climate change.
  • Providing rebates for electric vehicles to make it more affordable for British Columbians to make the switch to an EV.
  • Created CleanBC Better Homes, Better Buildings, a home and commercial retrofit program that saves households and businesses money by reducing energy bills and increasing energy efficiency.
  • Requiring all new buildings in B.C. to be net-zero-energy ready by 2032, and all new government facilities to use 100% clean energy beginning 2022.
  • Retrofitting B.C.’s social housing stock and government buildings to make them more energy-efficient, safer for residents, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Took action to protect our environment, economy, and our coast from the drastic consequence of a diluted bitumen spill.
  • Created the Clean Coast, Cleans Waters Initiative and invested more than $13 million to fund the largest shoreline and coastal cleanup in BC’s history, removing more than 100 derelict vessels and over 127 tonnes of plastic waste from our natural environment.
  • Increasing the Climate Action Tax Credit by 14%, putting more money back in the pockets of low and middle-income families.
  • Created the CleanBC Industry Fund to invest carbon tax revenues in initiatives that will reduce emissions and support good jobs for people throughout British Columbia.
  • In partnership with the federal government and BC Transit, invested in new buses to replace older, higher-emission buses, and meet the growing demand for public transit in BC.
  • Protected some of the province’s largest trees as the first step in a new approach to old-growth management.
  • Put an end to the grizzly bear hunt, ensuring the protection of one of B.C.’s most iconic species.
  • Took action to help ensure that disasters like the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond spill never happen again, by implementing science-based public oversight in the management of B.C.’s natural resources.
  • Modernized environmental assessment process to ensure that good projects that respect B.C.’s environment and the public are approved and that First Nations are involved meaningfully through the entire process.
  • Created the Wild Salmon Advisory Council which developed a made-in-B.C. Wild Salmon Strategy, as part of our government’s commitment to support restoring healthy and abundant wild salmon stocks in B.C. and are partnering with the federal government to fund projects to restore fish habitat and protect vulnerable wild Pacific salmon through the BC Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund.
  • Mandated better accountability, transparency and more detailed targets for climate action under a new Climate Change Accountability Act – the first of its kind in Canada – to make sure our province is on track for long-term emission reductions.
  • Engaged with British Columbians to seek feedback on how the Province can reduce and recycle more plastics, including those that would otherwise end up in our landfills, environment and water systems.
  • Appointed an independent Climate Solutions Council to advise government and track progress on CleanBC initiatives to reduce pollution and create new opportunities for people around the province.
  • Created Together for Wildlife, a plan for the conservation and stewardship of B.C.’s wildlife, with a governing council to oversee the strategy.
  • Partnered with the federal and local governments on a new Organics Infrastructure Program, which will help communities divert organic waste away from landfills.
  • Rolled out a new heavy-duty vehicle efficiency program that will help lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and help commercial truck drivers spend less money on fuel.
  • Invested $10 million for the construction and operation of 10 hydrogen fuelling stations in the province, as well as three years of support for Hydrogen BC.
  • Taking action to prevent plastic waste pollution by laying the groundwork to allow local governments to ban certain types of plastic products, such as shopping bags, plastic straws and polystyrene foam take-out containers.
  • Promoting access and protecting nature with a historic investment of over $83 million in BC Parks for new campsites, expanded trails and strengthened management of the park system.
  • Invested in creating more than 1,600 new campsites since 2017 to increase access to the outdoors for British Columbians.

 


Good Government


Health Care

  • The pandemic shone an even brighter light on the importance of health services and in Budget 2021 we continued to protect people’s health and safety with $4B in new investments over 3 years. This includes $900 million in one-time funding in 2021-22 to continue to deliver COVID-19 related health services.
  • Took action to provide better care for seniors, including new and improved facilities, better at home care, and the training and hiring up of thousands of new staff through the Health Care Access Program.
  • Invested more than $1 billion over three years to improve care for seniors, including investments in primary care, home health, long-term care and assisted living.
  • Building on successful surgical strategy to continue decreasing wait times by increasing operating room hours and hiring more surgeons, nurses and technicians.
  • Launched our Primary Health Care Strategy, focusing on faster, team-based care, including:
    • Hiring approximately 660 new full-time equivalent health professionals who will be part of 22 primary care networks throughout the province;
    • Opening urgent primary care centres and community health centres across B.C.;
    • Establishing primary care networks across over 65% of B.C. communities since the strategy was launched.
  • Dramatically boosting the number of MRI exams and elective surgeries as part of our Surgical and Diagnostic Imaging Strategy.
  • Launched the first of its kind early detection lung cancer screening program in Canada.
  • Increasing the number of priority surgeries and diagnostic imaging like PET and CT scans, to ensure faster access to these life-saving services.

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 Housing

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Jobs

  • Creating tens of thousands of jobs in communities around B.C. with more than $20 billion building hospitals, schools, and transportation projects — the largest infrastructure investment in B.C.’s history.
  • Ensured good-paying jobs, better training and apprenticeships, and more trades opportunities for Indigenous peoples, women and youth in key public-sector infrastructure projects in B.C. through Community Benefits Agreements.
  • Building an innovation corridor that will drive economic growth and create good jobs and opportunities for people in Surrey and the Fraser Valley, including establishing a Quantum Algorithms Institute at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus which will position B.C. as a world leader in this emerging field.
  • Supported job creators by cutting the small business tax rate by 20 per cent.
  • Ensuring that more B.C. logs are processed in B.C., creating jobs for British Columbians by applying a new, targeted fee-in-lieu of manufacturing for exported logs harvested from a coastal BC Timber Sales license.
  • Investing in the development of B.C.’s clean energy vehicle (CEV) sector, creating good jobs and supporting low-carbon innovation through the CleanBC Advanced Research and Commercialization (ARC) program.
  • Providing 5,000 jobs for youth and young adults in the growing tech sector, environment and natural resource fields through almost $45 million StrongerBC Future Leaders Program.  
  • Secured new shipbuilding contract to support the industry and a strong economy recovery by bringing 1,400 professional and skilled jobs to BC.  

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Mental Health and Addictions

  • Created a stand-alone Ministry for Mental Health and Addictions to take province-wide action to combat the overdose crisis, and help people living with mental illness and addictions.
  • Launched A Pathway to Hope, which lays out the BC government’s 10-year vision for mental health and addiction care that gets people the services they need in order to tackle problems early on and support their well-being.
  • Budget 2021 included the biggest investment in mental health in B.C.’s history with $500 million in new funding over the fiscal plan to expand mental health and addictions services.
  • Since Budget Update 2017, this government has provided $608 million through to 2021/22, including an additional $30 million in Budget 2019, to combat the overdose crisis, including:
    • Expanding access to life-saving naloxone kits
    • Funding pilot programs to help meet the increased demand for paramedics in rural and remote areas of B.C.
    • Funding 35 Community Action Teams (CAT) to provide on-the-ground support in response to the overdose crisis in the hardest-hit communities.
    • Supporting First Nations organizations and Indigenous Peoples in addressing the ongoing impacts of the overdose crisis in their communities.
  • Launched a class action lawsuit against opioid drug companies, whose marketing practices have had devastating impacts on the lives of thousands of British Columbians.
  • Expanded Foundry centres, with a total of 19 planned, giving young people and their families across B.C. access to a one-stop-shop to support their mental health and wellness.
  • Building better network of mental health supports for youth including mental health programs in school and expanding the number of integrated child and youth teams.
  • Broke ground on a new state-of-the-art mental health and addictions centre on the Riverview lands.
  • Doubling the number of treatment beds for youth struggling with additions in BC.
  • Provided $13 million to create over 100 new treatment and recovery beds for adults throughout the province.
  • Improving access and quality of eating disorder care and better access to suicide prevention services and early psychosis intervention.
  • Provided $14 million for the First Nation Health Authority to deliver mental health and addictions services to Indigenous peoples.
  • Invested $4.7 million in a therapeutic recovery community in Greater Victoria for men who have repeat experiences with incarceration, homelessness and addiction, which if successful may be expanded to other parts of the province.
  • Increased access to community-based low- and no-cost mental health and substance use supports as part of $10 million in grants awarded to community counselling programs throughout the province.
  • Introducing new integrated child and youth teams in schools – starting with Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows and Comox Valley schools – focused on prevention, wellness promotion and early intervention.
  • Launched Here2Talk, a new free mental-health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students, available online or by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Created a digital mental health resource hub for workers in the tourism, hospitality and social services sectors that have been hard hit by the pandemic.  
  • Taking steps to decriminalize personal possession of drugs to remove the shame that often prevents people from reaching out for lifesaving help.  
  • Taking the lead in Canada by expanding access to safer supplywhich will separate more people from the poisoned drug supply and help save lives.  

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Poverty Reduction

  • Created a $3 million grant to improve access to fresh, nutritious, affordable food for thousands of low-income individuals and families who regularly experience food insecurity.
  • As part of TogetherBC, provided $5 million to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for the Poverty Reduction Planning & Action program to help municipalities and community organizations identify their most pressing local issues and develop local solutions in the fight against poverty.
  • Increased the daily rates for eligible income assistance clients living at registered or licensed residences for the first time in 10 years.
  • Provided $6 million to create the Homelessness Community Action grant to help prevent homelessness and support organizations on the ground address homelessness in their communities.
  • Contributed $10 million to the Vancity Community Foundation to develop a sustainable, province-wide rent bank system to support renters facing financial difficulties to avoid evictions and prevent homelessness.
  • Improved accessibility and independence for people with severe communication disabilities by providing $9.3 million in new funding for communication technology and support, to help people fully participate in their communities.
  • Provided support for the community social services sector, with $10 million in one-time funding to support recruitment and retention, and improve occupational health and safety training programs for staff.

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Public Safety

  • Took action to keep at-risk youth out of gangs by:
  • Addressed nearly all of the recommendations in the Abbott-Chapman report to improve how BC prevents, prepares for, responds to, and recovers from wildfires and floods.
  • Added $31 million—a funding increase of nearly 45% — to the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund to support community resiliency in the face of wildfires, floods, and other emergencies.
  • Modernized the Emergency Support Services (ESS) system to allow for digital applications by evacuees.
  • Allocated $300,000 in funding to community organizations for prevention and intervention programs for perpetrators of domestic violence.
  • Started the process of modernizing BC’s Emergency Program Act, to improve the ways we work with other levels of government to better protect and support British Columbians before, during, and after natural disasters.
  • Invested $18.6 million in BC Search and Rescue organizations to help with training, equipment and administration—the biggest single investment in SAR in BC history.
  • Took action against money laundering by moving the Province’s gambling regulator to the new independent gambling control office (IGCO), and provided it with greater independence to set and enforce regulatory gambling policy.
  • Enhanced regulations and increased fines to improve passenger safety in the party bus industry.
  • Brought in new regulations on vaping products and advertising to protect youth from risks associated with vaping.
  • Tasked an all-party legislative committee to review the Police Act, and make recommendations on how it can be modernized to reflect today’s challenges and opportunities for delivering police services with a specific focus on systemic racism.

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Reconciliation

  • Made Reconciliation a cross-government priority by mandating all ministries to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  • Led B.C. to become the first province in Canada to enshrine the human rights of Indigenous peoples in law, through legislation that establishes the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the foundational framework for reconciliation in B.C.
  • Made an historic agreement to share gaming revenue with B.C. First Nations starting in 2019, to ensure Indigenous peoples have the funding they need to invest in their communities.
  • Ensured Indigenous children and their families have better access to culturally enriched early learning with more than 600 new, free licensed child care spaces and expanded Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) programs in over 30 communities across the province.
  • Worked to transform treaty negotiations in B.C., to get results in a shorter timeframe that lead to prosperous, healthy and self-determining Indigenous communities.
  • Together with the federal government, recognized Wet’suwet’en rights and title and set out a process to negotiate an agreement on how to implement them, working towards resolving matters of rights and title outstanding for decades.
  • Partnered with the First Nations Justice Council to develop an Indigenous Justice Strategy and create Indigenous justice centres throughout B.C., to reduce the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in B.C.’s justice system.
  • Added a new professional standard that requires teachers to commit to truth, reconciliation and healing to ensure Indigenous students in British Columbia will be better supported and be more connected in school.
  • Approved curriculum for 18 First Nations languages to be taught in B.C. schools, with more in development.
  • Renamed four provincial parks and one watershed protected area to include a traditional Indigenous name, to reflect their historic and cultural significance.
  • Supported the revitalization and preservation of Indigenous languages through a $50 million grant to the First Peoples’ Cultural Council.
  • Provided $40 million to build and revitalize culturally safe, First Nations-run mental health and addictions treatment centres throughout British Columbia.
  • Provided dedicated funding to Aboriginal friendship centres for the first time, ensuring the continuity of these critical services for urban Indigenous peoples.
  • Led a ground-breaking government-to-government process to chart a path forward in the Broughton Archipelago, ensuring the safety of wild salmon and economic opportunities for First Nations and local communities.
  • Partnered with UBCM to create the Urban Communities Partnering for Reconciliation (UCPR) initiative, which funds projects that support urban reconciliation efforts.
  • Working with Indigenous communities to establish Indigenous courts throughout British Columbia, which offer alternative sentencing options that honour traditional cultural practices, support rehabilitation and acknowledge the impact the person’s actions have had on others.
  • Supporting the return of ancestral remains and cultural objects to First Nations through $2.5 million in grants and other repatriation activities.
  • Changing legislation and social work practice to keep families together and reduce the number of Indigenous children and youth in care, including:
    • Making changes to the Child, Family and Community Service Act to allow for greater information sharing and involvement by Indigenous communities in child welfare matters;
    • Ensured that family members receive equal pay to foster parents to help keep children in their communities and connected to their culture;
    • Ended the discriminatory practice of “birth alerts”.
  • Working with First Nations and the federal government to sign agreements that will ultimately see the Nations exercise their jurisdiction over child and family services.
  • Ensured Indigenous representation on the board of every public post-secondary institution as of July 2018.
  • Providing complete cell service along the ‘Highway of Tears’ to improve safety for everyone traveling along this corridor and honour the memory of the Indigenous women and girls that have gone missing along this route.  
  • Addressing systemic racism in B.C.’s health care system through training and education, and through prioritizing the hiring of a health-care workforce that better represents B.C.’s diverse communities.
  • Supporting First Nations throughout BC with investigative work at former residential school sites through $12 million in funding. This investment will also cover cultural and wellness supports for communities and members experiencing trauma from residential school site findings.

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Rural Communities and Forestry

  • Working with the federal government to invest nearly $230 million to build arenas, community centres, and other infrastructure projects in communities across rural and northern BC.
  • Increasing the value of each log we take out of the forest, by processing more B.C. logs on the coast and redirecting wood waste to B.C.’s pulp and paper mills, as part of the Coast Forest Sector Revitalization Initiative.
  • Launched a regionally driven renewal of the province’s Interior forest industry, aimed at developing a competitive, sustainable future for forest companies, workers and communities.
  • Allocated $69 million to fund a new series of measures aimed at supporting British Columbia forest workers impacted by mill closures and shift reductions in several B.C. Interior communities.
  • Creating more jobs across BC with over $27 million in project grants to support 38 projects that will help increase the use of wood fibre that otherwise would have been burned as slash.
  • Made changes to the Forest Act to make sure that British Columbians are first in line to benefit from our publicly owned forests, increase wood processing at BC saw mills, and ensure that the First Nations, workers and communities have more say in how our forests are managed.
  • Taking a new, holistic approach to protecting B.C.’s old-growth forests by implementing the recommendations of the old-growth report, deferring old-growth forest harvesting in ten areas through the province, including Fairy Creek, protecting up to 1,500 exceptionally large, individual trees under the Special Tree Protection Regulation, and transforming B.C.’s forestry industry.
  • Expanded high-speed internet for people living in over 500 rural and remote communities, including 87 Indigenous communities through our Connecting British Columbia program – helping to diversify economic opportunities in rural communities.
  • Introduced a COVID-19 intake to the Connecting British Columbia program for rapid projects to immediately increase connectivity to underserved rural and indigenous communities. Between April and June, 47 projects increased internet capacity to 123 communities.Increased jobs and opportunity for BC’s forest communities by proactively adopting building code changes allowing the safe construction of taller wood buildings.
  • Reinvesting in the northwest with a $100 million grant to address long-standing infrastructure needs in four regional districts (Fraser Fort George, Bulkley Nechako, Kitimat Stikine and North Coast) and their 22 municipalities.
  • Signed a bilateral agreement with the federal government to provide up to $6 billion in funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan over the next decade for infrastructure projects in BC.
  • Provided over $675,000 to the Cannabis Business Transition Initiative to help cannabis producers in the Kootenays transition to the legal market.
  • Encouraging more food and beverage processing in B.C. through 6 regional food hubs that will provide local food producers and processors access to the expertise and equipment needed to grow their business
  • Expanded the Export Navigator initiative to help more rural business owners in B.C. get their goods to international and interprovincial markets.
  • Working in collaboration with Indigenous peoples to seize new clean energy and economic development opportunities, such as a geothermal energy project permit to the Fort Nelson First Nation.
  • Collaborating with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to provide temporary housing near medical facilities in Prince George and Fort St. John for those who are travelling from remote communities.

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Transportation

  • Removed unfair tolls on the Port Mann Bridge and Golden Ears Bridge, saving commuters in the lower mainland up to $1,500 a year.
  • Froze ferry fares on all major BC Ferries routes, reduced fares on smaller routes, and restored the 100% Mon-Thurs seniors discount.
  • Restored service to 10 ferry routes that were cut by the BC Liberals in 2014.
  • Amended the Coastal Ferries Act to put people at the centre of BC Ferries’ decision-making.
  • Launched a new BC Bus North service in response to Greyhound’s decision to eliminate service on routes in northern B.C., ensuring people in the North have access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation.
  • Retained over 83% of Greyhound’s long-haul bus routes by working with local service providers and fast-tracking applications. And we’re continuing to work on addressing service gaps across B.C.
  • Put ride-hailing regulations in place that will focus on passenger, driver and company safety, and will allow companies to apply to the Passenger Transportation Board in September 2019, with companies expected to be operating by the end of the year.
  • Funding 40% of the capital costs of the Mayors’ Council 10-Year Vision to ensure we’re investing in a modern, integrated and affordable transit system that is crucial as Metro Vancouver grows, including:
    • Five new RapidBus routes to serve 11 communities, beginning in January 2020. Two additional RapidBus routes are expected to launch in 2021 to serve Surrey, Delta and Richmond, with five more routes planned for Phase Three.
    • 200 new SkyTrain cars to replace 150 ageing cars and increase capacity, 40,000 additional bus service hours, and 10-minute SeaBus sailings increasing capacity by 50% during peak hours.
  • Committing $1.82 billion in provincial funding for the Broadway Subway project to reduce congestion in Metro Vancouver.
  • Fully funded the Pattullo Bridge replacement, bringing commuters one step closer to a modern, safer crossing. Building with a CBA to provide good-paying jobs to local people and address the skilled trades shortage.
  • Six-laning Highway 1 from 216th to 264th St, with new HOV lanes connecting commuters from Aldergrove to Burnaby.
  • Launched Move. Commute. Connect.: B.C.’s new strategy for cleaner, more active transportation, which aims to double the percentage of trips taken with active transportation by 2030.
  • Changing the Motor Vehicle Act to allow for the launch of mobility technology pilot projects, like e-scooters, electric unicycles or e-skateboards.
  • Made it more convenient to drive electric vehicles by addinga total of 83 new Level 2 EV charging stations across B.C. in partnership with the federal government. 
  • Provided $1 billion in partnership with the federal government to TransLink, BC Transit, and BC Ferries to ensure people continue to have access to safe, reliable and affordable public transportation options despite the decrease in ridership due to the pandemic.
  • Launched BC Bust North in 2018 and secured the continuation of service in 2021, ensuring people in the North have access to safe and reliable service along this crucial route.   

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Workers’ Rights

  • Amended the Workers Compensation Act to allow firefighters, wildfire firefighters, fire investigators, and firefighters working for First Nations and other Indigenous organizations easier access to workers’ compensation. 
  • Improved and simplified the process by which workers can make complaints to the Employment Standards Branch, and got rid of the BC Liberals’ “self-help kits”. 
  • Made the most significant improvements to the Workers Compensation Act in more than two decades. 
  • Improved BC’s Employment Standards Act to: 
    • better protect children and youth from dangerous work; 
    • make it easier for workers to get help when they feel their rights have been violated; 
    • provide more job protection to people dealing with difficult personal circumstances; and 
    • ensure people are paid the wages they are owed — and that those that violate the law do not have an unfair advantage.
  • Introduced paid sick leave to support workers to stay home when they are sick during the pandemic, and introducing permanent paid leave come 2022.  

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We’re going to keep working for you to fix problems, get results for people, and together, build a better future for everyone in British Columbia.

Advanced Education & Skills Training | Affordability |  Agriculture and Aquaculture | Arts, Sports, and TourismChildcare | Children and Families | Diversity and Human Rights | Economy  | Education | Environment and Climate Change | Good GovernmentHealthcare  | Housing | Jobs | Mental Health and Addictions  | Poverty Reduction | Public Safety |Reconciliation | Rural Communities | TransportationWorkers’ Rights 

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