Monday, September 21, 2020

Municipal and Regional District governments to benefit from BC Government's StrongerBC Restart plans

Premier Horgan and Finance Minister James speaking
last week as they rolled out the StrongerBC program

(photo from BC Gov't)

Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James charted some of the financial course out of the year of pandemic that has been 2020, delivering an expansive financial overview last week as to how the province plans to move forward through the end of this year and into 2021.

The program part of what the BC government is calling the StrongerBC initiative, will see  over 400 million dollars in funding provided to municipal governments for essential services and to tackle local challenges through Safe Restart funding.

Supporting strong communities by investing over $400 million to revitalize community infrastructure and support local governments to provide the valuable services people depend on. This includes $100 million in infrastructure grants for shovel-ready projects that will create jobs right away. 

The plan also earmarks over $1 billion in provincial and federal investments to help keep people moving, whether by transit, TransLink or BC Ferries. An additional $540 million in combined federal/provincial funding will help B.C. communities address other local challenges impacted by COVID-19.

The province did not provide for a breakdown as to how much money each community may receive as part of the funding for essential services, and other than to say that it is ready to go, the Premier and Finance Minister did not indicate when it will be delivered to the municipalities.

Among some of the other areas where the province will deliver money is for cleaner and more efficient public transit, building community infrastructure, cleaner transportation, energy efficiency, safe schools, high speed internet, homelessness and supporting local tourism.

The media conference which introduced the Stronger BC program can be viewed below:

The full roll out of the program can be examined here.

The snapshot of the StrongerBC program from the Province can be reviewed here.

As the Premier noted in the media conference the funding is ready to go, with each community's Chief Administration Officer to work with the public service to ensure that what is on the way makes its way in a timely manner.

When the funding is delivered, it could have a significant impact on the upcoming Financial review by the city of Prince Rupert's Chief Financial Officer Corrine Bomben, 

At the August 24th City Council session, Ms. Bomben noted that the review of the City Budget and Financial plan adopted in June will be delivered to City Council later this fall.

You can review some of the financial themes of note for the City of Prince Rupert from our archive page here.

More background on provincial issues can be explored from our Legislature archive page here, while further provincial themes are explored on our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

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