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B.C. posts $1.3B budget surplus for 2021-2022, in contrast with big deficit forecast

Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed during a press conference ahead of the delivery of the province's budget at the legislature in Victoria on Mon. Feb. 21, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito. CAH

British Columbia’s economic recovery last year was stronger than forecast with the province’s audited budget numbers showing a surplus of $1.3 billion, in contrast with an earlier projection of a deficit nearing $10 billion.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson says the province’s economy in 2021-22 outperformed both public and private sector predictions.

She says the April 2021 budget, delivered during some of the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, originally forecast a deficit of $9.7 billion, but revenues improved throughout the year.

Robinson says the improvement can be attributed to reopening the economy and the resultant increase in tax revenue, one-time federal contributions for COVID-19 and disaster events, higher natural resource revenues, and higher Crown corporation earning, especially at the Insurance Corp. of B.C.

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She says the government hopes to further propel the economy with a series of inflation-fighting measures next month.

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The province introduced a $60-million education support fund this week to help schools expand meal programs and assist families with school supplies and field-trip costs.

Click to play video: 'B.C.’s new school affordability fund'
B.C.’s new school affordability fund

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