Finance minister suggests budget deficits on way for B.C. after surplus

LANGFORD, B.C. — British Columbia Finance Minister Katrine Conroy is suggesting budget deficits are in the province's future as she prepares to present the government's financial blueprint Tuesday.

Premier David Eby's government has been spending what was projected as an almost $6-billion surplus from last year’s budget on pressing issues like disaster mitigation, addiction treatment and cost-of-living supports.

Conroy made her comments today at an elementary school where she served meat loaf, salad and desserts to students in grades 1 and 5 as part of a government-funded meal program.

She says her budget will continue to support programs that help families, with a focus on health care, public safety and housing.

Conroy, who represents a Kootenay-area riding, says the budget will not forget rural B.C., although she didn't elaborate.

While the tradition for finance ministers is to buy a new pair of shoes to wear when presenting the budget, Conroy says she’s a frugal person and has decided to polish an old pair of shoes to wear instead.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press