Last week our government tabled our second consecutive balanced budget to the people of British Columbia.
As our province is only one of two jurisdictions in Canada with a balanced budget, we should be proud of this incredible achievement. Balanced Budget 2014 honours the commitment we made to voters in May of last year and a fundamental step towards building a strong economy and a secure tomorrow for British Columbians.
Our budget doesn’t have many surprises or extravagant spending programs. Rather, using the words of our Minister of Finance, it’s boring.
There are many programs that our government brought forward in Balanced Budget 2014 that individuals, families, and businesses can take advantage of, while we continue to invest in infrastructure projects across the province, including right here in the Cariboo. Families with young children in Cariboo North can benefit from the investments made by our government in Balanced Budget 2014 through the BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit providing $55 a month for families with children under six years old. The BC Training and Education Savings Grant invests in our future with a one-time $1,200 grant that can be put towards a RESP to pay for college, university or trades school tuition.
Work continues on the Cariboo Connector program from Cache Creek to Prince George by increasing capacity along this important corridor.
Our government has committed $125 million in funding over the next three years ensuring that construction can start between now and 2017 on priority sections along this vital infrastructure project.
By controlling spending and growing our economy, our government is ensuring our financial position remains balanced for many years to come. Over the next three years we continue to project budget surpluses that will keep our AAA credit rating and economic confidence intact.
Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.