B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

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VICTORIA — Business groups and others say British Columbia's budget lacks the long-term vision many were looking for to support and stimulate innovation during and after the pandemic.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson's budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure and supports for families and businesses to build economic recovery from COVID-19.

Bridgitte Anderson, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, says the business community was looking for more signs of a post-pandemic vision in Tuesday's budget.

She says the budget needed to focus on supporting and stimulating innovation and competitiveness of B.C. businesses as the province rebuilds from the pandemic.

However, Prof. Allan Tupper, a University of B.C. political scientist, says the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic has the government balancing the prospects of improvements with the possible arrival of another disastrous wave of COVID-19.

The Opposition Liberals are attacking the budget, saying the government forgot to outline a plan for the future and left many small businesses, especially tourism operators, to fend for themselves.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press