Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon addressed the softwood lumber crisis that could have a negative impact on BC during Tuesday’s Throne Speech.
Guichon says several high-profile officials will be heading south of the border very soon. “Your government will name an envoy to Washington to make sure BC has continued access to the American market working with the forestry sector and the federal government to secure a new agreement on softwood lumber.”
Guichon added the province is still on track to be free of any operating debt by 2021.
A fifth consecutive balanced budget is expected to be tabled by the BC Liberals.
The province continues to make progress on the opioid crisis that has reached epidemic proportions according to Guichon. “By March 31, 500 new addiction treatment beds and more than 20 overdose prevention sites will have opened.”
BC’s low unemployment rate is still being championed and the province is still leading the way in economic growth across Canada.
The Site C Dam was another major highlight mentioned during the speech and Guichon believes the project will help shape the BC’s energy future.
“Your government is preparing for the future with the Site C Dam that will provide clean and affordable power for a growing BC for 100 years, this project created almost 1,900 jobs and 33,000 person-years of employment.”
Guichon also touched on education in BC.
“British Columbia is investing a record 5.1 billion per year for public education and an overall investment of 7.5 billion in education and training.”
Guichon then applauded the provincial tech sector as it contributed $14.1 billion dollars to the provincial economy.
Over 9,900 companies were created resulting in 100,000 new jobs.
BC has 79,000 fewer children living in low-income situations despite its population growth according to Guichon.
Taxpayers are expected to get some relief this year as a $2.2 billion dollar surplus is expected in the 2017 budget.
(Files from Brendan Pawliw with MYPRINCEGEORGENOW)