B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)

Carole James stays on to advise B.C. Premier John Horgan

Retired finance minister to earn a dollar a year

Retired former NDP leader and finance minister Carole James has agreed to B.C. Premier John Horgan’s request to help him navigate the coming year of economic uncertainty due to COVID-19.

Horgan said his long-time friend and colleague in the B.C. legislature since they were both elected in 2005 can offer her expertise and calm leadership in a part-time capacity, as she deals with a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis that led her to announce her retirement last spring. He expressed hope that James would continue longer into the NDP government’s four-year majority mandate.

“I’m going to pay her the princely sum of a dollar,” Horgan told reporters after his new cabinet was sworn in last week by video conference. “I offered her five bucks for a five-year contract. She said, ‘I’ll take it a dollar at a time.’”

RELATED: B.C. mayors call for resource development role in recovery

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 recovery point man calls for teamwork

Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson moves from municipal affairs and housing to the finance ministry, inheriting a coronavirus-driven deficit that is closing in on $13 billion for the fiscal year ending in March. Robinson’s first task is to deliver on Horgan’s election promise of pandemic recovery payments of $1,000 per household or $500 per individual to most people in the province, which is expected to add another $1.4 billion to the deficit, then produce another budget for the coming year.

James led borrowing of $5 billion for B.C.’s initial pandemic relief this summer, including $1,000 payments to anyone who qualified for federal emergency aid due to lost income from COVID-19 restrictions. About $1.5 billion of that remains to be paid out to businesses, another immediate priority of the NDP government.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The artwork for the 2021 mail run was drawn by Sonja Maas, a German student who spent last winter in the Cariboo on a ranch which trains sled dogs. (Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run)
Sled Dogs to hit the trail without spectators

The mail run from Quesnel to Barkerville will be limited in scope because of pandemic rules

Rocks thrown by individuals practising and junior teams can still go up and down the Quesnel sheets under current public health rules. (File Photo)
Quesnel Curling Centre hoping to salvage season

Manager Dave Plant said the club was keeping the ice in until updated rules come down Feb. 5

Quesnel's 2024 BC Winter Games bid gained support from the School Board and CRD joint committee this week. (Submitted photo)
Quesnel’s BC Winter Games bid clears hurdles

Both the school district and regional joint committee agreeed to support the 2024/2026 bid

McNaughton School is located in downtown Quesnel. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
McNaughton Secondary School reports COVID-19 exposure

The case marks the third exposure event in the Quesnel School District

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. finds its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

A northern resident killer whale shows injuries sustained by a collision with a vessel in B.C. waters. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Coast Guard ramps up protections for B.C. whales

First-ever Marine Mammal Desk will enhance cetacean reporting and enforcement

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

Most Read