Finance Minister Carole James visited the Northern Capital to talk face-to-face with people about the 2018 budget.

She provided more insight on how the government plans to make living more affordable for people in BC.

She says eliminating the MSP premiums is one way they will help both families and businesses.

Finance Minister Carole James at Coat Inn of the North | Jeff Slack, My PG Now

“We think it’s a much fairer approach. It provides support for small businesses, it ensures we’re protecting them through this process. We’re not brining all of the resources back from eliminating MSP, so, we are supporting individuals by not looking at personal income tax. We think that people deserve some affordability in this province.”

The NDP is projecting savings of up to $1,800 a year for families when they eliminate MSP’s in 2020.

The province is also including $50 million in this fiscal year to help support indigenous language programs, but in doing this the minister wanted to make sure people knew they aren’t going to ignore the sexual violence and domestic incidents that takes place in First Nations communities.

“We in fact have put in an additional dollars when it comes to protecting women and children who are fleeing abuse, survivors of abuse, we put additional dollars into this budget to address exactly that. We are also building housing to be able to help people who are struggling and need hosing to get out of the cycle of violence.”

Finance Minister Carole James talking questions in PG | Jeff Slack, MyPGNow

James says the reason why they’re investing into language was because, in some cases, there are only one or two speakers left for certain communities, and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

Some of the things highlighted for Prince George were investing into more opportunities for students at UNBC and CNC, replacing Kelly Road Senior Secondary to support 900 students, improving care at University Hospital, and maintaining safety and rehabilitation on Highway 97.