Press Release | BC Budget 2021 – Tri-Cities Chamber Reacts

(TRI-CITIES) April 23, 2021 – On Tuesday, April 20, the Government of British Columbia released its 2021 Provincial Budget, outlining the government’s plans for spending through the pandemic and economic recovery.
The budget presented reflects the government’s commitment to the extension of the financial support needed to help businesses navigate through the pandemic and to invest in the crucial infrastructure that is foundational to future business prosperity.
The 2021 budget also addresses several topics advocated by the chamber network in recent years that include:

  • The PST exemption on select machinery and equipment;
  • Transportation infrastructure investment along Highway 1;
  • Investment in further developing the hydrogen economy;
  • Broadband and cellular connectivity in rural and remote communities;
  • Wholesale pricing for liquor to support hospitality licensees; and
  • Increased training space for Early Childhood Educators and funding for more spaces.

Furthermore, the budget aligns with the three pillars of the BC chamber network’s vision:
Pillar 1 – Let’s Compete

  • Competitive tax system – The government budgeted the PST exemption on machinery and equipment to September 30, 2021, by which point the exemption will have supported BC business with $470 million in tax relief.
  • Transportation infrastructure to keep supply chains and people moving – Budget 2021 will deliver an additional $3.5 billion in capital spending for projects in the healthcare, education, and transportation sectors.

Pillar 2 – Let’s Innovate

  • Connectivity for rural and remote communities – Government will invest $40 million per year over 3 years in its connectivity strategy to provide reliable high-speed broadband to rural, remote, and Indigenous communities and unlock opportunities for businesses to better access local, regional, and global markets.
  • Clean BC plan that supports renewable energy and green economy solutions – Government will invest an additional $506 million to help reduce emissions, drive clean energy and cleantech.
  • Tourism – Government will support the hard-hit tourism sector with $120 million to ensure businesses navigate successfully through and beyond the pandemic and are ready to welcome visitors once again.

Pillar 3 – Let’s Be Inclusive

  • Women and minorities in the labour market – Government will invest $4 million to train or retrain unemployed or under-employed workers to support in-demand sectors such as construction and technology.
  • Housing affordability – Government will focus on increasing the supply of affordable housing for low- and middle-income households through its $2 billion investment in the Housing Hub.
  • Investing in childcare – Government will invest $233 million in the New Spaces Fund over 3 years to create an additional 2,500 – 3,000 spaces per year and improve access to ECE training by adding 110 more post-secondary seats in BC and providing $94 million over the same 3 years to double the current ECE wage enhancement to a $4 an hour increase.

The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce applauds various initiatives in Budget 2021, especially those that will help our businesses survive and prepare for the post-pandemic economy. The Chamber will continue to quickly communicate government programs and supports and we look forward to engaging with the government on the implementation of these initiatives. We will continue to advocate for additional measures that our businesses need to thrive while we enter the economic recovery ahead.
For more detailed information on the 2021 Provincial Budget:
BC Budget 2021 Website
BC Budget 2021 – Budget & Fiscal Plan
BC Budget 2021 Highlights
Canadian Chamber of Commerce Provincial Budget 2021 Statement
The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce is a proactive network of business-minded individuals that are committed to acting as an accessible, visible, supportive and reciprocal resource to our members and the Tri-Cities at large, communicating their collective voice to help shape a prosperous business community.

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For further information, please contact:

Michael Hind, Chief Executive Officer
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce

Carlos Haddad, Policy &Communications Manager
Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce