BC, Canada’s second-largest province, announced Wednesday it will create 1 “million new jobs” by 2020, a plan to help bolster the economy amid a provincial budget crisis.
The move comes in response to a growing national debate about how to address a looming housing crisis, and to the government’s announcement of its 2017-2025 spending plan for the province.
The province is spending $3.8 billion on infrastructure over the next four years, a number that is expected to rise over the course of the coming decade as the economy grows.
But with a provincial government already struggling to balance its budget, the province is looking to take advantage of the boom to help pay for a series of measures that have been promised in the past, including creating 1,100 new jobs and increasing the province’s retirement age from 65 to 67.
The budget also included funding for 1,400 new child care spaces, 500 new parks, and 500 new community centres.
BC has one of the highest rates of home ownership in the country, with just over half of its homeowners owning their home.
As the economy improves, more people will be buying homes and creating more demand for housing, and the province has already announced a plan for $30 million to $50 million a year to address the housing crisis.
BC also announced Wednesday that it will spend $10 million on a new, two-story residential building for people who are on disability.
This would be the first building to be built for people with disabilities in BC.
This development is expected be finished by 2022.
BC Premier Christy Clark is expected later this year to announce plans to boost housing funding.
The announcement comes just weeks after Clark announced she would be introducing a new tax credit for renters, which would be used to help people afford to buy homes in the province and to help cover housing costs for low-income families.