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

Hope man receives letter of apology after being escorted out of Chilliwack library

Mike Wilson fears the same treatment he received Nov. 2 by security guards will happen to others

Chilliwack school kids draw ‘don’t drink and drive’ messages on liquor store bags

Children from six elementary schools decorate bags as part of promotion created by local Mountie

New exercise class in Hope fills a need for those who can’t attend other seniors fitness classes

Get Up & Go is gentle exercise with a goal of increasing quality of life and social connections

PHOTOS: Christmas comes early for Hope shoppers

Local merchants kept shops open late for Dec. 8 Ho Ho Hope Christmas Fest

Strong winds to hit B.C.’s south coast

Western regions may see winds of up to 80 km/hr

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Road to the World Juniors leads through B.C.

Finland plays Denmark on Wednesday, United States takes on Czech Republic on Saturday

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Most Read