Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Highlights of Monday's BC budget

Carole James and John Horgan in B.C. Legislature June 30 2017 Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James pose for
Preston Stone | 13 September, 2017, 05:12

The Association for Mineral Exploration ("AME") expresses its support of the balanced 2017 budget delivered by B.C. Finance Minister Carole James.

"Less than eight weeks after forming government, we have taken the first steps to invest in the people of B.C. with this budget update". "Specifically, the BC Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit for individuals has been maintained and the expansion of the expenses eligible for the Mining Exploration Tax Credit to include environmental studies and community consultation costs to align with the federal tax rules is encouraging".

The NDP platform promised to introduce a child care program starting this year, but James said most of the summer was lost by the inconclusive result of the May election and former premier Christy Clark's decision to present her own throne speech and attempt to continue governing.

James defends the government's approach.

James said the additional tax money, combined with the revenue from B.C.'s flourishing economy, will be used to increase spending on key programs by $421 million this year, while still producing a surplus of $246 million.

Hurricane Irma leaves Florida powerless, moves north
An unusually large hurricane, Irma left an exceptional swath of damage on both Florida coasts and almost everywhere in between. Expected to be even more unsafe than the powerful winds are the storm surges that threaten Florida's coastal cities.

Another $208 million goes towards construction costs for 1,700 new rental housing units, to be targeted for lower-income families and seniors.

When it comes to the carbon tax, the NDP announced that the tax will no longer be revenue-neutral, and will increase by $5 per tonne of CO2 on April 1st of next year.

"You can't turn back the clock on 16 years overnight", she said, adding that the NDP government will continue working on its commitments in the lead-up to a full budget in February. The funding will support prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery efforts; improved data collection and analysis; a new Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions; and increased law enforcement.

The province will cut PST on electricity in half this fall and eliminate it entirely by April 2019.

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