British Columbia’s Budget 2020 focuses on building the infrastructure the growing province needs, supporting thousands of new jobs, strengthening investments in health and education and making life more affordable for everyone.
“From new roads, hospitals, housing, schools, and child care centres to better, more affordable services in every community, we’re seeing fundamental changes that are making life better for British Columbians,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance.
The budget increases capital spending to $22.9 billion over three years, the largest infrastructure investment in provincial history.
Investments over the three-year fiscal plan period include:
- Health: $6.4 billion to support new construction projects and upgrading of health facilities, medical and diagnostic equipment, and information management systems. Major projects include redevelopment of the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, new patient care towers at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and the Penticton Regional Hospital, replacing Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace and building a new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.
- Transportation: $7.4 billion for priority projects, including the Pattullo Bridge replacement, the Broadway Subway, four-laning on Highway 1 through Kicking Horse Canyon and improvements to highway corridors in Delta, Langley and along the southern coast of Vancouver Island.
- Education: $2.8 billion to maintain, replace, renovate or expand K-12 facilities in North Vancouver, Sooke School District, Quesnel, Coquitlam, the Greater Victoria School District, Vancouver, Abbotsford and an addition to Valleyview Secondary in Kamloops. Many of these new and upgraded schools will also include neighbourhood learning centres and child care spaces.
- Post-secondary education: $3.1 billion to build capacity and help meet the province’s future workforce needs in key sectors, including health, science, trades and technology. Projects include a new health science building for students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby; new equipment to expand the CEDAR supercomputer at Burnaby’s Simon Fraser University; and specialized equipment at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus, Vancouver General Hospital and BC Cancer Research Centre to support the development of personalized treatments for prostate, bladder and kidney cancers. Additionally, the provincial student housing loan program will see approximately 5,000 new student housing beds built around B.C., from Terrace to Cranbrook, and Prince George to Victoria.
- Housing: As part of government’s 10-year plan to work in partnership to create more affordable housing for British Columbians, more than $1 billion over three years will support the construction of new low- and middle-income housing throughout B.C. This includes more housing for seniors, Indigenous peoples and families. Budget 2020 also provides an additional $56 million for 200 new units of supportive modular housing for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The budget is balanced in all three years of the fiscal plan with surpluses of $227 million in 2020-21, $179 million in 2021-22, and $374 million in 2022-23 expected.