VICTORIA - Highlights of the British Columbia budget presented Tuesday:
— $26.4 billion capital plan over three years to build hospitals, schools, transit and roads while creating 85,000 jobs.
— $500 million for mental health and addictions services, including targeted funding for youth, 195 treatment and recovery beds for substance users and an expansion of overdose crisis response programs.
— $11 million to more than double the number of $10-a-day child care spaces with 3,750 spaces offered through 75 additional ChildcareBC Universal Prototype Sites.
— $1.6 billion for poverty reduction strategies, including a record increase of $175 per month increase for income and disability assistance rates, and the first increase of $50 to the Senior's Supplement since it was introduced 34 years ago.
— $506 million to support CleanBC, including the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations, electrification of more school buses and ferries, and the elimination of the PST on e-bike purchases.
— Additional revenue and lower spending puts the deficit for 2021-22 at a projected $9.7 billion, lower than the $13.6 billion forecast in December.
— $26 million to make transit free for children ages 12 and under, with the first phase launching in Metro Vancouver in September.