February 7, 2023
The B.C. Legislature resumed sitting for the fourth session of the 42nd Parliament. Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin delivered the first Speech from the Throne in B.C. since David Eby was sworn in as Premier in November. The Speech sets out a roadmap for the B.C. government and the key priorities about where it plans to spend its $5.7 billion surplus: affordable housing, community safety, health care, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the climate crisis, and the rising cost of living.
The government promised “major new investments to increase housing and services near public transit hubs” with a refresh of its housing strategy following the fall legislative session. New laws out of the Ministry of Housing, Minister Ravi Kahlon’s new portfolio, are expected to implement this strategy.
Strengthening Health Care
It’s anticipated a large portion of B.C.’s surplus will be spent to “strengthen public health care and increase our ability to do surgeries, offer family doctors, and make sure people have care they can count on.” Some of these plans depend on previously announced measures, like opening a new medical school at Simon Fraser University.
The Speech noted the importance of ensuring safer communities, increased supports for mental health, tackling the climate crisis, and continuing work on Indigenous reconciliation. As usual, the speech was light on specifics, which will come when the government introduces the provincial budget later this month.
Notably absent was Premier Eby himself, who travelled to Ottawa to meet with fellow Premiers to work out an agreement between the federal government and the provinces and territories for increased health care funding.
- Throne Speech News Release
Read the Throne Speech
We’re Here to Help
For more information and insights about what these developments mean for British Columbia’s political landscape, please contact:
Elysa Darling – Senior Strategy Advisor
Bronte Prosser – Strategy Advisor
To learn more about Prairie Sky Strategy, please visit our website.