The British Columbia Government has released the 2022 budget for the province of British Columbia. The provincial government has allotted an estimated $62.5 billion for the 2022/23 period to accomplish the broad range of goals outlined throughout the plan.
The main pillars for the 2022 BC budget are as follows: Investing in People, Investing in the Economy, and Investing in Climate Change Action.
Table of Contents:
- Putting People First with Investments into Childcare, Mental Health, and More
- Investing in the Economy
- Climate Change Investments
- Tax Incentives
Putting People First with Investments into Childcare, Mental Health, and More
Improving communities, Indigenous relationships, and the healthcare of the people in BC, as well as addressing the ongoing complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, remains at the top of British Columbia’s list of priorities.
Investing in Child Care
The 2022 budget will be investing in childcare quality with funding as planned below:
- $3 million in government funding support, covering up to 100% of eligible costs for creating and improving services for before and after school care facilities that offer licensed childcare through the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund; and
- Continued investments for ChildCareBC by reducing the cost of childcare services by 50% for full-day services to an average of approximately $20/day/family.
Investing in Mental Health & General Health Services
The health of British Columbians is a priority for the 2022 budget with new and continued investments as planned below:
- $10 million for the next three years to increase accessibility and quality of mental health services;
- $57 million to reduce wait times, increase capacities, and hire more staff, with new primary care centres added throughout BC; and
- $45 million to support up to 15 primary care centres dedicated to First Nations communities.
Continued Support for COVID-19 Measures
Budget 2022 will be allotting approximately $2 billion in pandemic recovery support, as well as an additional $1 billion in continuing health measures to combat the virus:
Support for Housing
The British Columbia 2022 budget will continue to invest in the province’s housing market:
- $100 million via the Building BC’s Community Housing Fund to support further requests for proposals (RFPs) on projects that aim to develop more housing for mixed-income rental units and low-income housing for families and seniors;
- $8 million to help finish the 4,200 units currently being built, as well as to improve financial support for the HousingHub’s project development for 180 new units by 2023; and
- $166 million to continue building 114,000 affordable housing units in BC over 10 years, with 32,000 new homes completed through Homes for BC.
“Budget 2022 invests a total of $27.4 billion in important infrastructure like schools, hospitals, affordable housing, highways and bridges to help people and communities recover and build B.C.’s economic resilience. This record level of capital spending will also support 100,000 jobs in communities throughout the province.”British Columbia 2022 Budget
The BC 2022 budget is investing heavily in Indigenous reconciliation efforts to support and strengthen Indigenous communities with an estimated $178 million in funding for the following:
- Creating a Declaration Act Secretariat to write and impose the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act;
- Establishing a Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship to assist in bringing BC natural resources to Indigenous communities through programs such as the Indigenous Forest Biochemistry Program (IFBP) which may fund applicants with up to $75,000 per application per year. The IFBP will be announcing a new Accelerator Stream;
- Creating $194 million in revenue-sharing agreements to be allocated via the forest industry;
- Establishing a more robust Indigenous primary care program that will build up to 15 primary care centres in the province;
- Investing in the Homes for BC housing plan for housing that is culturally appropriate for Indigenous communities on and off reserves;
- Allocating justice provisions for Indigenous peoples through a virtual program called the Indigenous Justice Centre;
- Emergency management systems and connecting Indigenous communities with high-speed internet and cellphone services; and
- Childcare support for Indigenous communities through the Aboriginal Head Start program which offers early education and family resources.
This year’s budget is providing funding for economic initiatives that will improve connectivity for British Columbia communities via the following measures:
- $289 million to enhancing digital connectivity via high-speed internet for rural and remote communities, including Indigenous communities over the next five years;
- A goal of connecting over 280 communities across the province with access to education and health care, strengthening economies and helping local communities reach international markets.
Investing in the Economy
The British Columbia 2022 budget will continue to invest in the growing economy with initiatives that focus on sector-specific support, as well as investments geared towards skilled labor training and new jobs.
Budget 2022 details the following investment plan to support forestry in BC:
- $185 million to help forest workers, industry contractors, and First Nations communities adapt to logging deferrals which will aim to prevent biodiversity loss via the following:
- Short-term employment opportunities,
- Educational programs,
- Skills training initiatives, and
- Support for industry partnerships between communities and businesses to create jobs with economic and infrastructure projects.
Budget 2022 describes the following investment into the BC mining sector:
- $18 million in financial support will be added to BC’s mining sector to advance the Regulatory Excellence in Mining plan to attract foreign investments, create jobs, create a safe environment, and assist in reconciliation.
BC will invest in the following to support the life sciences:
- $195 million in grants will be invested in Genome BC and Michael Smith Health Research BC to stimulate further research and development (R&D) projects in the life sciences field. These programs have helped fund over 400 R&D projects so far, creating over 32,000 jobs and advancing health systems and the knowledge economy.
Funding Employee and Skills Training
A new workforce plan, called Future Ready: Skills for the Jobs of Tomorrow, is being developed to help tackle the challenges that BC faces in evolving markets and technologies.
- $25 million in expanding skilled healthcare training for long-term care, assisted living, and homecare industries. This investment will allow for hiring and training of up to 5,000 new professionals in the healthcare sector;
- $4.3 billion in the next three years for investments in research and post-secondary facilities in the province;
- $21 million for the Graduated Adult Program to help BC acclimatise to the growing demand in the healthcare sector; and
- $21 million to the Industry Training Authority to fund the training and certification of trades people who are currently uncertified or want to become apprentices, with the goal of improving the quality and supply of skilled labor and trades in British Columbia.
“StrongerBC: A Plan for Today, a Vision for Tomorrow is focused on preparing people for the jobs of the future. To realize this vision, we will be supporting skills training, closing the digital divide, driving innovation and building on B.C.’s strengths in clean energy and tech.”British Columbia 2022 Budget
Climate Change Action Investments
Climate change continues to be a primary focus for the British Columbia government as the 2022 BC budget invests heavily in clean transportation, net-zero buildings, forest protection, and more.
The following describes new clean transportation investments outlined in the 2022 budget:
- $1 billion in CleanBC and Roadmap to 2030 plans to fund new initiatives for clean transportation, clean tech, net-zero buildings, energy, and more. Funding will be allotted to programs such as:
- Innovative Clean Energy Fund,
- The First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, and
- BC Hydro Electrification Plan.
- $125 million to investments in clean transportation:
- $79 million to Go Electric programming, rebates for electric vehicle (EV) charging systems, and
- $7 million to create a Clean Transportations Action Plan.
- Approximately $249 million over three years in rebates transferred from Go Electric light-duty vehicle rebates to BC Hydro;
- $30 million in grant funding to municipalities for improvements to bike lanes, infrastructure, and multi-use paths; and
- $5 million to continue the Heavy-Duty Vehicle Efficiency Program to improve the carbon output and energy efficiency of heavy-duty transports in British Columbia.
BC is planning to invest in the CleanBC program via the following:
- $174 million to create/improve two streams for the CleanBC program:
- Create a new CleanBC Industrial Incentive Program to incentivize larger industrial companies to reduce carbon emissions, and
- $111 million to continue and improve on the CleanBC Industry Fund to support for-profit initiatives that aim to reduce industry emissions.
- $10 million to revive the CleanBC Plastics Action Fund with the goal of helping businesses recycle plastic materials, therefore diverting plastics from local landfills.
“Budget 2022 provides more than $1.5 billion in funding for rebuilding and recovery. It also includes significant new funding for Emergency Management BC and the BC Wildfire Services, delivering new facilities and equipment to respond to future disasters and moving to a proactive, year-round service model for the BC Wildfire Service.”British Columbia 2022 Budget
The British Columbia 2022 budget will be making some adjustments to tax programs and incentives with the goal of advancing research, promoting sustainability, and more.
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development Program (SR&ED)
To support and stimulate innovation through research and development, the province will be extending the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit for another five years, until August 31, 2027.
A major source of funding for scientific and technological research and development in Canada is the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit. To learn more about how the SR&ED program began, who is eligible to apply for the program, and how the program can be used to support your R&D activities, read our What is SR&ED? Research and Development Funding article.
Do you think your business might qualify for SR&ED? Read our How to Determine if You’re Eligible for SR&ED article for more information.
Vehicles with Zero Emissions Will Receive a Tax Relief
Starting February 23, 2022, all used zero-emission vehicles will be exempt from Provincial Sales Tax (PST). Exemptions will last for five years, and expire on February 22, 2027.
Moreover, the passenger vehicle surtax threshold to calculate PST on zero-emission vehicles has increased to $75,000 from $55,000, meaning zero-emission vehicles priced below $75,000 will be subject to 7% PST. In order to account for the fact that zero-emission vehicles are typically more expensive to purchase than vehicles with internal combustion engines, this policy change has been implemented.
More Tax Updates from the BC Budget
To read a comprehensive review of the major tax updates from British Columbia’s 2022 budget, review this in-depth tax alertfor more information.
Learn More About Government Funding in British Columbia
The British Columbia 2022 budget has outlined a clear path forward for the Western Canadian province. The initiatives mentioned above will provide many opportunities for local businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities. To learn more about current government funding in British Columbia, visit our Western Canada Funding Directoryto make finding the perfect program for you, easy.
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