B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)

B.C. delays 2021 budget, moves to borrow more for COVID-19

$1,000 family benefit coming, online applications open Dec. 18

B.C.’s next budget could be delayed until after the new fiscal year starts in April, as the NDP government prepares up to borrow another $2 billion to add to its current deficit, already approaching $13 billion.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson began a brief pre-Christmas session of the B.C. legislature Tuesday by presenting amendments to allow the province to delay its budget until as late as April 30, after the current fiscal year ends March 31. The delay is partly due to the October snap election called a year earlier than its scheduled date, which has already delayed the government’s second quarter financial report for the current year.

The un-budgeted $2 billion in extra borrowing includes about $1.5 billion for another round of COVID-19 payments, promised by Premier John Horgan in the fall election campaign. Unlike B.C.’s first round of pandemic payments, these do not require proof of lost income during the pandemic, with up to $1,000 going to families with income up to $175,000 this year, and up to $500 for single people earning as much as $87,000.

Robinson told reporters there will be an online application process for the money that will open Dec. 18. The target continues to be getting transfers to bank accounts by the end of 2020.

People receiving B.C. income or disability assistance are eligible for the family or single benefit, and an additional $150 due to their low incomes, Robinson said.

RELATED: B.C., Ottawa COVID-19 debt could ‘indenture generations’

RELATED: B.C. throne speech predicts ‘better days ahead’ in COVID-19

The fall snap election was a key part of the delay in the province’s financial reporting and approval.

“While the proposed rules will also allow for modest extensions for release dates for quarterly reports in a fiscal year when there is a general election, the amendments still ensure that fiscal updates are publicly provided so there is not a lengthy gap in public reporting,” Robinson told the legislature Dec. 8. “This amendment ensures that limited funding remains available should a supply act not be enacted by the start of a new fiscal year, and would only apply to address election-year schedule impacts.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

..
Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
IIO investigating after man seriously injured by police dog during Abbotsford arrest

Independent Investigations Office looking into incident from March 6 in 3700 block of Davie Street

Westbound Highway 1 traffic near Herrling Island is backed up a long way following a vehicle incident. (Photo/Trish Dunbar)
Pedestrian killed in crash near Herrling Island

Woman in her 50s struck by moving van

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is open every Thursday in Hope at the Legion for the age-based vaccine rollout. But now anyone aged 40 and older can also book an appointment at a pharmacy for the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)
Hope residents 40 and older can now get vaccinated at participating pharmacies

Remedy’s RX pharmacist said the response from the public was immediate following announcement

Future Finlandia Lion Ian Heagy with his biggest fan, mom Jen Heagy. (submitted photo)
Chilliwack hockey player Ian Heagy defies the odds to land at Finlandia

Having never played a minute of rep, Heagy is making the jump from house to NCAA Div 2 hockey

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s Bear Creek traffic plan

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Fire consumed a condo development project under construction at 208th Street and 80th Avenue Monday night. Many spectators shared their images. (Daniel Gerstner/Instagram: @gerstner/Special to Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: Elementary school closed as Langley deals with aftermath of massive condo fire

Firefighters remained on scene at 208th Street and 80th Avenue for much of Tuesday night

Most Read