[NORTH VANCOUVER] British Columbia’s strong economy means more money back in the pockets of middle-class families in North Vancouver, and investments in the programs and services people rely on most.

“This budget returns the benefits of a strong economy to British Columbians,” said North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite. “Families will see major tax relief with up to $900 back in their pockets thanks to our MSP premium cut, and we are making key investments in the programs and services that British Columbians rely on most.”

“Small businesses are important part of B.C.’s economy and we are continuing to support them in B.C.’s 2017 Balanced Budget,” said North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Naomi Yamamoto. “By reducing small business tax and cutting the PST on their electricity in half we are saving small- and medium-sized businesses millions of dollars per year.”

“This is truly a family focused budget and many will see a direct benefit with the 50 percent reduction in MSP premiums,” said Vancouver-Capilano MLA Ralph Sultan. “This is a significant step towards eventually eliminating MSP premiums all together.”

“I’m very pleased that families in our communities will save up to $900 a year as a result of the MSP tax relief in this budget,” said West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy. “This budget also continues to support the government’s efforts to address housing supply and affordability, increase investments in health care, education, transportation and the environment all within a balanced budget framework now and into the future.”

The centrepiece to Budget 2017 includes $1 billion in tax relief for middle-class families by cutting Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums in half for individuals and families with a net income up to $120,000.  This is the first step as the Province begins to eliminate MSP premiums. A typical family of four paying full MSP premiums will save $900 per year in 2018 as a result of this measure.

Budget 2017 also makes key investments in areas like classrooms, mental health services, and other supports for those most in need.  The Government is also significantly increasing investment in healthcare – over $4.2 billion more over the next three years – to ensure British Columbians continue to receive the healthcare services they need.

Regional highlights that will benefit communities like North Vancouver include:

  • $1.1 billion in transportation infrastructure including $198 million to be spent on improvement to the Lower Lynn Corridor, to be completed by 2021.
  • $2.7 billion for health sector capital spending that will include the Lions Gate hospital redevelopment.
  • Budget 2017 provides an additional $159 million to maintain assistance levels for low-income families and seniors, to help make rent more affordable in private market rental units. Services are also maintained for the homeless in the existing permanent shelter system.
  • $100 million more for mental health and substance use treatment, focusing on youth.
  • $65 million to fund 380 housing units in support of the homeless across BC, including individuals with mental health and substance use issues.
  •  Firefighters and Search and Rescue volunteers tax credit, a $3,000 non-refundable tax credit providing a benefit up to $151.80 each year.
  • $10 million for invasive plant management.
  • $6 million over three years to support the Buy Local program to support the continued growth of local demand for B.C. agrifoods.

Additional highlights of the budget include:

  • $796 million for children, families and those in need.
  • $740 million for the K-12 education sector, including $320 million to address the recent interim agreement with teachers.
  • More than $700 million for first-time homebuyers, building on $920 million for housing affordability and assistance.
  • $249 million for communities and economic development.
  • $149 million for parks and environmental protection.
  • $280 million for other programs and services.

Learn More:

For more details on Budget 2017, visit: www.bcbudget.ca