No cuts to people or services, but B.C. budget deficit to rise, finance minister says

Finance Minister Katrine Conroy, left, is joined by food security co-ordinator Jesse Wallis and volunteer Vincent Aigbefo as they pack groceries for a subscription-based program made up of volunteers called Good Food Box during a photo opportunity at the Fernwood Community Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

British Columbia Finance Minister Katrine Conroy says the budget she tables on Thursday will protect services and won’t raise taxes for ordinary residents, but she also forecasts an increased deficit because “it’s the right thing to do.”

The minister says the time is not right for the NDP government to bring cuts when most people are facing rising costs for housing, food and other daily staples.

She says the budget will address health care, middle-class housing, a clean economy and incentives for small business.

READ MORE: B.C. New Democrat government makes pledges to homebuyers, renters, in throne speech

Conroy says she couldn’t pinpoint the size of the deficit, which was projected to reach $5.6 billion late last year, but the budget’s long-term outlook forecasts deficit declines.

The government’s budget comes less than nine months before a provincial election in the province.

Conroy, who describes herself as a frugal person, says she will be breaking with tradition for the second year in a row by not wearing a new pair of shoes when she delivers the budget.

SEE ALSO: B.C. throne speech: Read the full transcript from February 2024

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!