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B.C. government to release fiscal update on July 14 showing pandemic's impact

Last Updated Jun 22, 2020 at 2:21 pm PDT

FILE - B.C. Premier John Horgan looks on as Finance Minister Carole James answers a question during a media scrum following a meeting with federal ministers at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre during day two of the Liberal cabinet retreat in Nanaimo, B.C., on Wednesday, August 22, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Finance Minister Carole James says she plans to table a financial update on July 14

Carole James says the pandemic has dealt a huge blow to B.C.'s finances

NDP house leader Mike Farnworth says the government must still pass the budget

VICTORIA — The B.C. government will provide a financial update next month outlining the unprecedented economic challenge the province is enduring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Minister Carole James says she will provide the update on July 14 and it will show the province’s economy has been “hugely hit” by the pandemic.

B.C. politicians returned to the legislature today to start a summer session with a much different format than the usual face-to-face political debates.

Physical distancing requirements mean the 87-member chamber is limited to 24 politicians, and media interviews are being done online.

James says the update will include B.C.’s jobless numbers from June, the most recent revenue estimates and data from the federal government’s fiscal update.

Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson says the numbers James tabled in the government’s budget last February have been torn apart by the pandemic and people need to know the state of B.C.’s finances.

NDP house leader Mike Farnworth says the government must pass the budget, despite the pandemic.

Speaker Darryl Plecas, who was inside the legislature, says today’s events are the first time in history the majority of members are conducting business from outside of the chamber.