NDP government to unveil its first full budget today

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VICTORIA, B.C. — The minority NDP government will unveil its first full budget in 17 years today, with housing and childcare set to feature centre stage.

Finance Minister Carole James held a press event yesterday at a childcare centre in Vancouver, bucking the trend of purchasing a new pair of shoes. James said that this year’s budget will make life more affordable for British Columbians, with investments in housing and childcare among the government’s priorities going into the second half of their first full year in office.

James did not say whether the NDP would table a balanced budget, but the government does have a number of big financial hurdles ahead of them. ICBC is poised to record a loss of $1.3 billion this year, while the extra costs of fighting the worst summer of wildfires in B.C.’s and the removal of tolls on Metro Vancouver bridges are all adding up on the province’s list of liabilities.

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James is set to deliver the budget this afternoon at the Legislature at 3:00 p.m. MST.

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