British Columbia’s finance minister is promising to stay the course in her next budget to be tabled Tuesday in the legislature, while also monitoring potential storm clouds looming over the economy. Finance Minister Carole James releases the provincial public accounts report during a press conference at the press gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

No dramatic shifts expected as B.C. government tables new budget today

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature

The British Columbia government is expected to stick to its focus on affordability as it unveils its next budget today amid increasingly difficult economic conditions.

Since coming to power more than two years ago, the NDP has made controlling costs for families, with a focus on housing in particular, a hallmark of its economic policies.

Finance Minister Carole James has promised to stay the course when she tables the budget in the legislature.

But she also warned in her last fiscal update that economic growth is slowing, making it a more challenging year.

James says balancing the budget means making difficult decisions and the government has also been bogged down by the costly crisis at the Insurance Corp. of B.C.

The public auto insurer has lost $2.5 billion over the past two years and James says she’s frustrated that some of the funds used to stem the losses could have gone toward programs and services.

“I don’t think any finance minister would say building a budget is easy. There are always more priorities than there are resources for,” James said.

The Canadian Press


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