B.C. Finance Minister Carole James visits a Victoria daycare on the eve of her first budget, Feb. 19, 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

NDP’s first budget to set spending record for housing, child care

Premier John Horgan promises biggest investments in B.C. history

The B.C. NDP government’s first budget will include “the largest investments in housing and child care in B.C.’s history,” Premier John Horgan says.

Finance Minister Carole James visited a Victoria daycare centre Monday, but didn’t add much detail to Horgan’s forecast. James said the budget she will unveil Tuesday contains the first steps in a 10-year plan to develop universal child care across the province.

James declined to comment on the NDP’s campaign commitment last year to deliver a $10-a-day child care system, which both she and Horgan have downplayed since forming a minority government supported by three B.C. Green MLAs last summer.

RELATED: Child care advocates question NDP’s commitment

James said she dispensed with the traditional finance minister’s ritual of buying a new pair of budget shoes, and will wear old shoes shined by her husband. She read a story at the daycare about a cat that keeps walking after getting its white shoes stained with different colours.

“I wanted to make sure I did something that reminded us what the budget is really about,” she said.

In a pre-budget video posted on the weekend, Horgan also promised the budget will contain additional measures to deal with housing prices. In last week’s throne speech, the government committed to deal with speculation in the housing market, empty homes and the shortage of rental housing.

“Businesses cannot grow when the skilled workers they need are shut out by the high cost of housing,” the throne speech noted. “Renters are afraid of eviction or unexpected rent increases that will force them to relocate when prices are sky high and vacancies hover at record lows.”

Horgan also referred to the ongoing dispute with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley over his opposition to the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion. He promised to “protect our wine industry from unfair trade practices being brought on us by the government of Alberta,” and continue trying to prevent the project from moving ahead despite federal and provincial approvals.

Just Posted

Battle for Alberni Valley Bulldogs roster spots begins

Main camp opens this week at Weyerhaeuser Arena

ARTS AROUND: Join watercolour workshops in Port Alberni

Victoria artist Joanne Thomas will provide beginner and advanced classes

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Bullhead derby returns to Port Alberni with new date, location

Lions Club partners with Maritime Discovery Centre

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Mother charged with homicide of Langley seven-year-old

Aaliyah Rosa’s 36-year-old mother charged with second degree murder: IHIT

Despite threats, Soldiers of Odin a no show at B.C. tent city

Nanaimo’s Discontent City held a counter rally on Sunday

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in 2019

PM Justin Trudeau gears up to run in next year’s election

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

A massive cloud of smoke hangs over B.C. and Alberta due to wildfires

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

In response to the Pennsylvania report, Francis labeled the misconduct “crimes”

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

The pilot project provides seasonal workers with up to five more weeks of benefits

Trump rages on Mueller following Times report

Trump takes to Twitter calling Robert Mueller “disgraced and discredited”

BC Wildfire crew rescues lost puppies

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

Most Read