Throne speech highlights: 10 things the B.C. government plans to prioritize in 2021
Boarded up clothing stores are seen on Robson Street, in Vancouver, on Thursday, April 16, 2020. (Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER -- The provincial government gave its annual throne speech Monday, revealing what the NDP plans to prioritize over the next year.
Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped much of the party's agenda, but other items linked to campaign promises also made the list.
Looking for more details? Read the full story, including excerpts from the speech.
Here's a quick look at 10 highlights.
1. Vaccine plan: More than one million people have been vaccinated in B.C., and the province hopes to finish its "largest-ever immunization program" ahead of schedule.
2. Health care: The province promises to address issues with long-term care, surgery wait times and access to urgent care and hospitals.
3. Economic recovery: The NDP pledges to create conditions for a strong recovery with help for businesses to grow. This plan includes grants for those looking to expand online services, and legislation in support of an investment fund.
4. Infrastructure: The province promised "record investments" in infrastructure projects which it says will create jobs.
5. Affordability: The NDP government says it has "more to do" to make life in B.C. more affordable, with actions including cuts to car insurance, expansion of $10-a-day child care and investments in rental housing.
6. Inequality and discrimination: In its throne speech, the Horgan Government pledged to "tackle" the issues by building on work that was started before the pandemic. The plan includes B.C.'s first anti-racism law, and reforms to the Police Act.
7. Mental health: The province promised to expand support for mental health care in B.C.
8. Reconciliation: The throne speech included a vow to continue the work that began with the passing of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, suggesting a "future of true partnership and shared decision-making."
9. Climate: The NDP says it will "continue implementing North America's most progressive climate action plan," with pushes towards clean technology, electric vehicles, protection of old-growth forests and more.
10. Technology: The throne speech outlined plans for "bridging the digital divide" through investments in technology in rural, remote and Indigenous communities.