Conroy brings rural perspective to B.C.’s bottom line, may expand speculation tax

Written By The Canadian Press

VICTORIA — Katrine Conroy says she asked to keep her old job as British Columbia’s forests minister, but Premier David Eby had other ideas and now she’s in charge of managing the province’s purse strings. 

The veteran New Democrat, who was first elected in 2005, says she was surprised and honoured to be appointed finance minister in Eby’s new cabinet, which the premier says is a blend of experienced politicians with energetic newcomers to focus on big issues facing the province.

Conroy inherits a budget with a projected surplus of $5.7 billion this year, but the good times are not expected to last, with private and government forecasters saying B.C.’s economic growth will dip to less than one per cent next year.

In an interview today, Conroy says she and her cabinet colleagues will deliberate on how best to address the surplus and the challenges ahead.

She says she agrees with Eby’s description of her approach to work and life as a person who is “rural tough.”

Conroy, who lives on a ranch just outside of Castlegar in southeast B.C., has had a varied career outside of politics, including being one of the province’s first female power engineers, an early childhood educator, director of a multi-service non-profit agency, a college instructor and a small business person.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2022.

The Canadian Press