Highlights of the B.C. budget, which includes billions in pandemic recovery spending

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VICTORIA — Highlights of the British Columbia budget presented Tuesday:

— $26.4 billion capital plan over three years to build hospitals, schools, transit and roads while creating 85,000 jobs.

— $500 million for mental health and addictions services, including targeted funding for youth, 195 treatment and recovery beds for substance users and an expansion of overdose crisis response programs.

— $11 million to more than double the number of $10-a-day child care spaces with 3,750 spaces offered through 75 additional ChildcareBC Universal Prototype Sites.

— $1.6 billion for poverty reduction strategies, including a record increase of $175 per month increase for income and disability assistance rates, and the first increase of $50 to the Senior's Supplement since it was introduced 34 years ago.

— $506 million to support CleanBC, including the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations, electrification of more school buses and ferries, and the elimination of the PST on e-bike purchases.

— Additional revenue and lower spending puts the deficit for 2021-22 at a projected $9.7 billion, lower than the $13.6 billion forecast in December.

— $26 million to make transit free for children ages 12 and under, with the first phase launching in Metro Vancouver in September.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press