Samantha Li / Staff reporter
Selina Robinson, British Columbia’s finance minister, is going to table the financial budget for the past year with the COVID-19 pandemic on April 19, 2021, according to the news article on CBC by Dirk Meissner.
“The last budget, tabled in February 2020 just as B.C.’s first COVID-19 cases were being diagnosed, forecast three years of modest surpluses, including a surplus of $227 million for 2020-21,” mentioned in Meissner’s article, indicating that B.C had a balanced operating budget last year before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, based on the fiscal update last December, B.C.’s budget deficit was at $13.6 billion, and Robinson said in an interview on Saturday, April 17th that “What I can say is it is going to be a deficit budget.”
The next round of spending since workers in the frontline and other small businesses are waiting for support. According to “B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget” by Tom Fletcher, a budget will be detailed on April 20, which would add possibly billions more to the province’s debt.
Meanwhile, a news article on CHEK by Rob Shaw reported that B.C is currently “under pressure to fund sick days in the new budget”, and B.C. Premier John Horgan says next week’s budget could provide more help for workers who call in sick during the pandemic, which might lead to more expenses for the province. John claimed that with the budgets on the 19th and 20th, they hope to meet those challenges.
Robinson pointed that “we don’t want to leave people behind, we want to make sure all children have enough food in their bellies. We want to make sure businesses can plan a future that allows them to grow their business. We want people to have health and safety in their communities.”
Now, people are worried about the upcoming huge deficit. Liberals have been saying that the budget needs an economic recovery plan which needs to include commitments to those numerous viral infrastructure projects. Kris Sims, a columnist from Prince George Citizen, also commented in his article “BC budget must be prudent” that “it needs some spending restraint to make sure the province’s finances run smoothly back into the future.”
“We’ve been very mindful about how to make decisions for British Columbians so that we can have a path forward that gets us through and over the next number of years back to balance. We’re committed to getting back to balance,” said Robinson.
- “B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget”
- “B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget”
- “B.C. under pressure to fund sick days in new budget”
- “BC budget must be prudent”