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B.C. to give update on 'profound' financial challenge of COVID-19

Last Updated Jul 14, 2020 at 4:08 am EDT

Minister of Finance Carole James speaks to the media during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, March 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is expected to give a financial update today on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected its residents, businesses and the economy.

Finance Minister Carole James says the pandemic has created “profound” challenges for people in B.C. and around the globe, fundamentally changing the ways people live and work.

She says the update will provide a summary of those impacts and outline the supports government has put in place and will continue to provide.

James says predicting how long recovery will take would require a crystal ball, with so many moving pieces.

Possible risks like a second wave of infections or shifts in other jurisdictions that would affect B.C. exports mean the timeline for economic recovery is uncertain.

The B.C. government has already tabled legislation giving itself room for three years of deficits and James says that will be re-examined each year.

“I’m afraid it’s a challenging time and you’ll see that in some of the statistics tomorrow when it comes to economic forecasters who have a wide range of what they anticipate could be coming,” she said Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press