VICTORIA — British Columbia has earmarked $2.1 billion to fund disaster recovery efforts and future response to the threats posed by wildfires, floods and heat waves in a budget that forecasts a $5.5 billion deficit.

Finance Minister Selina Robinson says a three-year climate fund will support ongoing disaster cleanup and rebuilding in southern B.C. communities hit by last November’s floods and mudslides.

She says the budget does not include a total estimate of the recovery costs, prompting the government to add a $1.1 billion contingency fund in its financial accounting for the 2022-23 fiscal year to cover future costs.

Robinson says the $2.1 billion climate response and adaptation program includes wildfire prevention supports for communities and expands the province’s B.C. Wildfire Service into a full-time operation.

She says the budget, which forecasts economic growth of four per cent, also includes cutting average child-care fees to about $20 per day. The NDP has promised $10-a-day child care.

more coming.

The Canadian Press