Federal budget on same page as B.C. on issues of child care, reconciliation, opioids
VICTORIA - British Columbia's finance minister says she's pleased with the direction of the federal government's budget, but concerned with the slow pace of some of its initiatives.
Carole James says Tuesday's federal Liberal budget touches many of the same issues that were the focus of the B.C. budget tabled last week.
She says federal minister Bill Morneau's budget identifies issues of pay equity, reconciliation, opioids, housing and child care as priority's.
But James says the federal government has promised the bulk of its housing and child care money in future years, while B.C. announced immediate plans to increase child care spaces and affordable housing units.
She says the federal government's decision to start a process that moves towards a national prescription drug program is welcome, but nationwide drug coverage is needed immediately.
James says she was looking for more help from the federal government on transportation infrastructure, especially for the Metro Vancouver area.
“I'm optimistic about our opportunity to partner with the federal government to bring these resources to B.C.,” she says. “If the government's really serious about that at the federal level, then I'd like to see long-term strategies and long-term funding agreements in place.”