Sean Leslie | Email news tips to Sean
Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon has delivered the Liberal government's speech from the throne, with promises of a huge fund aimed at paying off the provincial debt.
Here are the highlights:
Creation of a "BC Prosperity Fund" to collect revenues from L-N-G industry; government estimates more than 100-billion dollars will flow into fund over 30 years.
Some of that revenue will come from existing corporate taxes and natural gas royalties; but government also plans a new "L-N-G" tax, amount not spelled out.
Money from "Prosperity Fund" to pay down total debt (currently $56b); to "enhance" government programs and services; and to possibly allow future tax cuts, including possible elimination of provincial sales tax
Other promises: create a school of traditional Chinese medicing at a post-secondary institution
"In the coming weeks" government will:
Introduce legislation to create senior's advocate and a plan to address elder abuse, outline improvements for patients in rural and urban areas and to primary health care, "renew commitment to small business owners to keep our province most small business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada"