Earlier today on February 19, BC's provincial government announced its Budget 2019 plan. The budget addressed an array of topics, including removing interest on student loans, benefits for youth, affordable living, and reducing taxes for business. One of the most notable contributions in the budget by the government is the investment of over $900 million to be used for eco-friendly solutions to help protect clean air, land and water in the province.
According to the provincial government, Budget 2019 will make a “historic investment in people.” This budget plans on moving forward with CleanBC by investing $902 million dollars to meet the province's climate commitments.
So what exactly are these climate commitments for BC? They will include ensuring that the province has clean air, land, and water. According to the BC government, this money will be used to create a cleaner, brighter, and low-carbon future for the province over the next three years.
The full Budget 2019 document has been published online and is now available to the public. Within the document, there is a detailed list of how the funds will be used to create a more eco-friendly BC.
The money will be broken down and used in an array of ways over the next three years. Of the total $902 million dollars, $41 million will be used over three years to make energy-saving improvements more accessible and affordable to BC residents.
This will include covering renovation costs for peoples homes, including $2,000 to replace fossil fuel heating systems, $1,000 to upgrade windows and doors for better insulation, and $700 for more efficient natural gas furnaces.
Budget 2019 and CleanBC will also be making zero-emission vehicles more affordable to the population. This will lead to major savings for residents – people will be able to save up to $6,000 on their purchase and also approximately another $1,500 a year on gas.
The more accessible zero-emission vehicles will lead to an investment of $20 million for public fast-charging stations and hydrogen fueling stations. There will also be a $6 million investment into supporting the clean energy vehicle sector, such as training programs for automotive technicians.
Along the same lines, the government will be investing $6 million to help light-duty vehicle fleets adopt lean energy vehicles. There will also be $10 million going towards incentives aimed at helping business switch their medium and heavy-duty vehicles to cleaner fuels.
The province will also be ensuring that smaller communities within BC switch to more eco-friendly energy solutions. In order to do so, $15 million will be invested this year to make sure remote communities are supported in their cleaner energy switch.
“British Columbia’s economy is thriving with the strongest GDP and wage growth in Canada. It’s clear that sharing the benefits of growth with all British Columbians results in a stronger economy,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance.
“Together we are doing our part to fight climate change and build a British Columbia where everyone can enjoy a good life and secure future in the community they call home.”
You can check out the full Budget 2019 report online by visiting the BC government website.