BC’s budget focused on climate...

BC’s budget focused on climate change: Addressing the Crisis, Creating Job Opportunities (French version available)

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

The summer of 2021 in British Columbia showed what climate change can do to the land and the people. Fires that destroyed entire communities, floods that devastated homes and schools, mudslides, and intense heart that caused many deaths were all part of that very difficult summer. In response, the government’s 2022 budget is designed to deal with the climate emergency while also providing jobs for young people for the future.

Every year, government financial experts put together a budget detailing how much money is supposed to go towards education, health care, and other services that people need. Last summer made it clear that dealing with the climate is essential. The government has responded with a larger investment than ever before in the CleanBC Roadmap Project. The investment includes $1.2 billion in new funding to work towards a cleaner economy. That means finding and developing fuels that reduce or eliminate harmful emissions like carbon that pollute the environment.

Even with new fuels available, people also need to be able to use them. Making electric vehicles easier and more affordable to buy is an important step towards reducing emissions. About forty percent of fuel emissions come from transportation. Cleaner fuels, such as electric power, would help to reduce this problem. However, cleaner industry and cleaner buildings are also necessary to help reduce pollution and to help the environment.

No one wants a disaster to happen. However, being prepared for potential problems can help. Part of the budget deals with plans for a year-round BC Wildfire Service that would help deal with the problem of fires that rage out of control. Typically, most wildfires occur in summer when the weather is warm and often dry. However, having a year-round fire service will help people prepare better for the fire season so that they will be ready with the equipment and resources they need.

Although the new budget attempts to deal with many of the climate issues that BC is facing, some people are concerned that it misses some important areas. For example, extra funding for public transit would likely do more to help the environment than funding private vehicles does. Of the $8 billion budgeted for roads and transportation, only $1.97 billion will go towards public transit, even though a bus can carry forty or fifty people who might otherwise take their cars to work or school. Extra funding could mean more frequent buses, cheaper fares, and a generally better system.

Despite some potential flaws, the new budget also includes opportunities for young people. Working in advocacy is one possibility. Encouraging the government and private agencies to invest in better transit or greener technology is a good way of helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Journalists and other writers can inform the public or the government about the issues. Finding work with the new wildfire organization is also a possibility for anyone with the right skills.

Inventors and technicians could have good opportunities in the new budget. Finding new fuels or more efficient technology can help reduce emissions, making the roles of inventors very important. Technicians are also necessary for installing these new systems in homes and buildings, since this kind of work can be too complicated for most people to manage.  The new green budget in British Columbia could create many opportunities for work while also helping to make the province a more environmentally friendly place.



The Canadian Press. Climate Change Focus of B.C. Budget after Floods, Wildfires and Heat Waves.” https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/challenges-of-climate-change-focus-of-b-c-governments-budget-says-finance-minister.

Gamage, Michelle. “BC Budget Fails to Deliver Climate Change, Experts Say.” The Tyee. https://thetyee.ca/News/2022/02/24/BC-Budget-Fails-To-Deliver-Climate-Change/.

The Globe and Mail. “BC Budget to Focus on the Challenges of Climate Change, Says Finance Minister.” https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-bc-budget-to-focus-on-challenges-of-climate-change-says-finance/.

Province of British Columbia. “Record Investments to Create Clean Economy of the Future.” https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022FIN0007-000272.

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