British Columbia Speech from the Throne 2024

February 20, 2024


Today’s throne speech and the subsequent legislative session will present Premier Eby’s government with an important opportunity to move from commitment to action in the short window between now and May.

Lacking any real marquee promises from a government looking for a record consecutive third term this fall, this year’s Speech from the Throne was largely focused on highlighting last year’s accomplishments, in what could be called a stay-the-course signal to voters that the BC NDP’s work is still yet to be done.

Building on the major policy initiatives rolled out by Premier Eby in recent weeks the throne speech underscores his government’s emphasis on immediate actions, hoping to address affordability and health care issues before voters hit the polls– with a hint that there is more to come with Budget 2024 being released later this week.

Key highlights of today’s throne speech include:

Housing Crisis and BC Builds

  • Launch of BC Builds to leverage government land and funding for middle-class housing projects, designed for people providing essential services, with income-tested homes.
  • Efforts to protect renters from bad-faith evictions and to help more first-time homebuyers get on the ownership ladder.
Healthcare Improvements
  • Elimination of the pandemic surgery backlog and plans to improve access to care by training more medical professionals, with B.C. adding more than 700 doctors and almost 6,300 new nurses.
  • Launch of a new medical school at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus with a focus on family doctors and the first new medical school in Western Canada in more than 50 years.
Mental Health and Addiction Services
  • Enhancement of mental health and addiction services, with an expansion of almost 3,600 publicly-funded treatment and recovery beds.
Economic Development and Clean Economy
  • Plans for BC Hydro to support a clean economy and electrify industries.
  • Building more infrastructure through the billion-dollar Growing Communities Fund, and significant construction projects over the next 10 years, including the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain and the Broadway Subway project.
Environmental Conservation
  • Commitment to protecting 30% of land and water by 2030 and reducing carbon emissions, with net greenhouse gas emissions down 5% from six years ago.
Education and Workforce Development
  • Plans to fill nearly a million job openings through training and education initiatives, with 75% of these jobs requiring post-secondary education.
  • Introduction of safeguards for international education programs and support for First Nations-mandated post-secondary institutes, with new steps to recognize these institutes as a key pillar of B.C.’s advanced education system.
Public Safety and Community Support
  • Measures to tackle crime and violence, including stricter bail rules, hiring additional police officers, and addressing repeat offenders, with 256 new RCMP police officers being hired.
  • Support for survivors of crime and legislation to address hate crimes, with a focus on making B.C. a more welcoming and inclusive place, including new anti-racism legislation.
Youth Safety and Education
  • Actions to protect young people from online threats, restrict cellphones in schools, and hold social media corporations accountable, with a new suite of concrete actions launched to protect kids.
  • Plans to make Holocaust education mandatory for high school students and improve learning conditions in schools, with new legislation to be tabled to protect schools and kids from disruptive protests.

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