METRO Vancouver on Tuesday commended the B.C. Government for its 2022 budget, which it said emphasizes resilience and climate action while creating substantial opportunities for economic recovery and prosperity in the wake of hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.
“In light of last year’s extreme weather events, which exposed our vulnerability to the effects of climate change, Metro Vancouver is pleased to see the B.C. Government prioritize investments that will protect our residents and businesses,” said Sav Dhaliwal, Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors. “Now, more than ever, we must work together to ensure our infrastructure, services, and systems are resilient to climate change and to preserve the environment.”
He said the priorities of Metro Vancouver and the Government of B.C. continue to be strongly aligned. Metro Vancouver’s Climate 2050 and Clean Air Plan will contribute to the goals set out in the Province’s CleanBC Roadmap to 2030. Metro Vancouver is encouraged by the government’s $1 billion investment into CleanBC, including the dedication of $76 million to the new Local Government Climate Action Program, which will help local governments take action to reduce emissions and prepare for and adapt to climate change.
Metro Vancouver plans to invest more than $7 billion over the next five years to build, maintain, and upgrade the critical infrastructure that underlies the prosperity and livability of the region, such as the Iona Wastewater Treatment Plant. This will create family-supporting jobs while making sure Metro Vancouver can continue to deliver high-quality services that residents and businesses depend upon as our climate changes.
Invest Vancouver, a service that Metro Vancouver created to support the regional economy, is focused on advancing broadly shared prosperity for all, supporting the export-oriented sectors where the region has productive advantages and addressing barriers to future economic growth. Provincial plans to spend on innovative projects and skills training will contribute to achieving those goals.
“We applaud the Province’s emphasis on and significant financial commitment to training our workforce for the jobs of the future, as outlined in last week’s economic plan and today’s budget, along with plans to invest in critical infrastructure that will help us rebuild our economy and remain resilient in the face of climate change,” said Linda Buchanan, Vice Chair of Metro Vancouver’s Board of Directors.
According to Metro Vancouver, improving housing affordability and addressing inequality are also critical to building an equitable and inclusive economy. As one of the largest affordable housing providers in the region, Metro Vancouver plans to spend $190 million over the next 10 years to renew and expand 1,350 units. This presents an opportunity for the B.C. Government to partner with Metro Vancouver to deepen affordability and expand the reach of these projects.