Courtenay-Comox MLA, Ronna-Rae Leonard believes B.C. is on the right financial track.

Leonard says the newly unveiled budget shows that the NDP government is “building on its successes” of the past two-and-a-half years.

She points to the BC Access Grant, which provides up to $4,000 to help with the up-front costs of tuition for more than 40,000 low- and middle-income students.

Leonard says these grants will open windows for young people.

“I think that’s going to open up a lot of doors and create a lot more opportunities for British Columbia’s youth as they come into adulthood.”

She added that the grants will help older students as well, as they get training in “all the new directions that the economy is taking.”

Leonard also said the government is investing in B.C.’s future.

“We’ve added over a billion dollars to our K-12 system and this year we’re investing a further $339 million in our school system,” she said. “We continue to improve healthcare and we’re adding $400 million to Clean BC on top of the over $900 million already committed, so we’re moving in directions to make life better for British Columbians.”  

The NDP says, “Budget 2020 makes new commitments to bring capital spending over three years to $22.9 billion – the highest level in B.C.’s history.”

The province adds that work is underway on new and upgraded hospitals and health facilities, highway and transit projects, schools and new housing throughout B.C. that is “stimulating more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction.”

“British Columbians are working hard to build a better future for their family, and so are we. By building the infrastructure our growing province needs, we’re making life easier for people and creating good jobs and opportunities in local communities,” James said.

Moving on to forestry, the province says it “continues” to support struggling forestry workers through access to job placement, skills training, equipment loans, grants for hard-hit communities and programs to support early retirement. 

This year’s budget is projected to add $13 million for new forestry revitalization efforts, “including revving up B.C.’s bio-economy with innovations that convert wood into value-added products like biofuels, bioplastics and textiles.”