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B.C. throne speech pledging spending kicks off spring session

The BC government promised to open the purse strings as the legislature resumed sitting for the spring session today.

It started with a throne speech delivered by lieutenant governor Janet Austin.

The speech highlighted various issues the government is looking to tackle over the next year.

This includes measures to help with rising costs, housing affordability, and improvements to health and mental health care.

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Provincial officials said they are focusing on initiatives that help with economic security as a global slowdown is being predicted by economists.

“Some say we should respond to a downturn by pulling back, reducing services, or by making people pay out of pocket for private health care,” Premier David Eby said in a release.

“But that would only make many of our most serious challenges worse and pass down costs at a time when people can least afford it. There’s too much at stake right now to pull the rug out from under British Columbians. We couldn’t afford short-term thinking before – and we certainly can’t afford it now.”

Provincial officials said last year’s surplus is allowing them to give more back to British Columbians.

They said there will also be more actions to get violent offenders off the streets and new laws to crack down on gangs, money laundering, and non-consensual sharing of intimate images.

More specifics should be made known regarding all of the province’s initiatives for the next year at the end of the month when they unveil budget 2023.

with files from Josiah Spyker, My East Kootenay Now staff

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