New BC Premier David Eby was sworn in and immediately announced a $100 cost-of-living credit for residents on their electricity bills.
Eby also established a BC Accessibility Credit for low- and middle-income residents starting in January, which will provide up to $164 for adults and $41 for children.
He said Friday that people and small businesses in the province are feeling the pressure of global inflation and that his government is focused on helping those most affected by rising costs.
The one-time cost of living credit will be automatically applied to BC Hydro residents’ bills this fall.
The NDP government said in a news release that the state-owned utility is able to afford the credit due to market conditions that have led to increased trade and domestic revenue.
The announcements came as Eby was sworn in as the province’s 37th premier at the Musqueam Community Center in Vancouver, the first-ever swearing-in of a premier hosted by a First Nation in British Columbia.
Eby, 46, replaces fellow New Democrat John Horgan, who announced last June that he was leaving office due to health issues.
The Premier said that although British Columbia is a wonderful place to live, people feel uncertain about their future and worry about their families.
“I am proud of the work done by John Horgan and our government to put people first. And there is so much more to do. I am ready to work with my team to produce results that people can see and feel in their lives and in their communities.
Eby was led to the community center by First Nations drummers.
Prior to the swearing in, he took part in a Musqueam blanket ceremony and was told to use it as a warm hug from the community when he feels frustrated or sad.
Musqueam leader Wayne Sparrow welcomed the crowd gathered for the event and thanked Eby’s wife, Dr. Cailey Lynch, and two children, acknowledging that their father would be taken to work on behalf of the province.
Joy MacPhail, BC Ferries board chair and former NDP cabinet minister, said Eby is thoughtful, measured and open to innovative ideas. He’s fearless when it comes to daring action and he’s the person you want by your side, she said.
“I’m confident David has what it takes to deliver the results that make this province better for all of us.
Horgan told the crowd he never thought he would see the day when an NDP premier from British Columbia would hand over the baton to another NDP premier.
Horgan said when he became party leader, the first thing he did was turn to the biggest person he could find and pile the work on his shoulders. Eby is six foot seven.
He said he piled even more work on Eby when the New Democrats took power.
“On this day, November 18, I proudly and unreservedly turn to the tallest guy in the room and say, congratulations Premier Eby, it’s going to be a great trip, we’ve done a lot, we have more to do . ”
After taking the oaths of office administered by the Lieutenant Governor. Janet Austin, Eby singled out Horgan, congratulating him on his record, including winning a majority government in 2020.
“I’m not as tall as I look, because I stand on John Horgan’s shoulders.”
The Canadian Press
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