Budget 2024 – Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

Budget 2024 – Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Luncheon

Media, News

The Alliance’s Executive Director, Sylvia Ceacero, attended the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce Luncheon  last week where the Honourable Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance, presented the highlights of the 2024 budget.

The Minister explained that this is not the time to cut services that British Columbians are counting on. As the housing, health, drug overdose, inflation, and economic slowdown rage on, the government’s choice was to present a deficit budget to tackle these issues head on.

The Minister spoke of the government’s focus on housing for middle-income earners; health care, such as cancer treatment and the drug poisoning crisis; child care that is affordable; public transit for growing communities; public safety initiatives; and small business’ supports among other focus areas; however, she only briefly alluded to the homelessness crisis that continues to devastate our street family in our communities. She provided no insights as to how Belonging in BC, the BC government’s homelessness strategy, will be concretely implemented. The Alliance has made a commitment to continue to work with the Ministry of Housing on this strategy so we can arrive at functional zero, where experiences of homelessness are rare, brief, and non-recurring, by 2030.

In times of economic uncertainty, we look to all orders of government, to lead and show clarity in the choices they make to address social and systemic issues. We applaud the BC government’s plans to continue funding programs and services rather than making cuts that halt progress in initiatives that yield results. The Minister spoke several times about working together. If there was ever a time to ensure we are doing that, it is now.

Together we can end human suffering in homelessness. To help us achieve our mission of a region, a province and a country where everyone has a place they can call home, we ask you to become a member of the Alliance and to donate to support this critical work. Collaboration, advocacy and communication is now, more than ever, what we need to have in our communities.