BC’s Budget for 2023 is out, and the province has announced some pretty big changes. One major takeaway? BC will become the first jurisdiction in Canada to make birth control completely free. Yes, you read that right!

The three-year plan was revealed on Tuesday, February 28th, and reflects the largest priorities voiced by British Columbians, which include access to greater health and mental health care services, affordable housing, and much more. In response to the former, BC will be making all prescription birth control free to obtain.

“B.C. is a great place to live, but people are facing real challenges – not only from global inflation and the pandemic, but from ongoing and systemic challenges,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Finance. “Starting April 1st, prescription birth control is going to be free in British Columbia. This is a win for health and it’s a win for gender equity in our province.”

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For those who pay $25 a month for birth control pills, this equates to $300 in savings every year, and as much as $10,000 over their lifetime, according to Minister Conroy.

“When it comes to essentials, having full control over your reproductive rights is at the top of the list. Prescription birth control is a necessary health care, not a luxury.”

Other key investments in this year’s budget include $1 billion in new funding to expand mental health and addiction services, a new $500-million Rental Protection Fund, and a 10% increase to the BC Family Benefit.

You can view the Budget 2023 Strategic Plan for all of the changes coming our way.