NDP MLA Melanie Mark says new infrastructure funding a boost for community services

Premier David Eby marks 100 days of progress on cost of living, housing, safer communities, healthcare for people

February 25, 2023 at 1:08 pm  Politics, Provincial

VANCOUVER – In his first 100 days since taking office, Premier David Eby has made significant strides and delivered results on key priorities for British Columbians, and he is just getting started.

“Despite everything we’ve been through together, British Columbians are rightly optimistic about our  province and our future,” said Eby. “The end of our first 100 days is, of course, not an end at all. It’s only the beginning. Over the next 18 months, my team and I will work hard to make life better in ways that people will be able to see and feel – in their lives and in their communities.”

In January, the BC Affordability Credit landed in bank accounts, providing as much as $410 per family to 85% of British Columbians. Today, Premier Eby announced another round of this credit is on the way for B.C. families.

This is on top of boosting the BC Family Benefit in January, February and March, providing up to $350 per family and freezing ICBC basic rates for two years for businesses and drivers. In December, the BC Hydro bill credit of $100 made energy bills more affordable during one of our coldest months and child care fees were reduced by as much as $550 per month.

Premier Eby has taken immediate action on the housing crisis, including streamlining the permitting process to get construction started sooner, passing laws to establish housing targets that match population growth and adding more resources to get landlord and tenant disputes resolved faster.

The Premier launched a new $500 million fund that will protect tenants living in affordable rental buildings from speculators who would drive up their rents. Additionally, new changes to strata rules will mean families with kids now have more options when looking for a place to live and fewer condos are sitting empty and instead can be rented out to people.

To address pressure on our health care system, Premier Eby is making it easier, faster and cheaper for internationally educated family doctors and nurses to get licensed and start working in B.C. clinics and hospitals. He’s also launched the necessary work to establish the first new medical school in a generation at SFU in Surrey. A new cancer action plan will benefit cancer patients and their families through expanded access to care, along with actions to improve detection and prevention.

A Safer Communities Action Plan was also put in place to keep repeat, violent offenders off the streets, while expanding mental health crisis response teams and strengthening services. As part of this plan, RCMP will be receiving $230 million to hire to their full complement, and strengthen crime prevention and enforcement.

In order to support the needs of growing communities, Premier Eby announced $1 billion for local governments, which they can use to address their communities’ unique infrastructure and amenities demands – such as recreational facilities, parks and water treatment plants. This represents the largest single investment in communities in the province’s history.

The progress made in the first 100 days of the Eby government shows that he is hitting the ground running on the issues that matter most to people. In the coming months, this work will continue as the 2023 Budget is introduced, with new initiatives to build an even stronger province.

 

BACKGROUNDER

More progress in Premier Eby’s First 100 Days

•     Decision to maintain individualized autism funding and engage in deeper consultation on how services for children and youth with support needs can be transformed.

•     Construction started on 90 units of temporary housing for people on the Downtown Eastside, which are set to open in March.

•     Created two new ministries focused on key issues: housing and emergency management and climate readiness.

•     More funding for the Human Rights Tribunal to make justice more accessible.

•     Funding for the Residential Tenancy Branch to benefit renters and landlords with more timely and efficient supports and services.

•     Enhanced funding for the Employment Standards Branch to help address disputes between workers and employers quickly and efficiently.

•     Historic agreement with the Blueberry River First Nation guiding a new approach to land, water and resource stewardship.

•     Investment of $90 million in the BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund to promote innovation in the forestry sector while creating jobs.

•     New partnership and funding to resume more than 100 jobs at the Crofton Mill.

•     New Parliamentary Secretaries appointed for rural health and watershed restoration.

•     New Conservancy created to protect rare ecosystems in the Incomappleux Valley.

•     Making the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation a provincial statutory holiday.

•     Greater flood resilience for Sqwá First Nation, Shxwhá:y Village, and Chilliwack.

•     New measures to protect old growth and incorporate Indigenous knowledge through Forest Landscape Planning tables.

•     Investing $180 million to help communities prepare for natural disasters related to climate change.

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