Lake Country MLA backs budget
Lake Country’s MLA says he is happy to take a balanced B.C. budget to the voters.
B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong unveiled his government’s promised balanced budget Tuesday, a $44 billion document bolstered by Crown property sales, increased income tax rates and economic growth expected to continue for three years.
“This is a balanced budget in every sense of the word,” Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick. “It builds on previous budgets to get us to this point.”
B.C. has had four deficit budgets in a row leading up to this one and is only the second province in Canada (after Saskatchewan) to bring in a balanced budget this year.
Letnick, who is also the agriculture minister, saw some increases in its funding for his ministry to tackle issues like the replacement of the Canadian Federal Inspection Agency when it comes to inspecting private abattoirs, as well as more money for the Agricultural Land Commission.
He said he was particularly pleased to see changes to the carbon tax to help greenhouse operators in B.C. and farmers that use “purple” gasoline in their machinery.
The government also plans to spend $1 million to add milk to the school fruit and vegetable nutrition program, said Letnick.
The local MLA, who says he will run for re-election in the upcoming provincial vote in May, said he will be happy to take this budget to the electorate.