British Columbia has introduced legislation to convert an investment initiative into a Crown corporation with the authority to make independent decisions aimed at spurring economic recovery after the pandemic.

The $500-million InBC investment fund was created last September as a way for the province to invest alongside the private sector to support small and medium-sized companies, which make up 98% of all businesses in the province.

The purpose of the fund is to make investments that achieve a financial return by meeting the government’s social, economic and environmental policy objectives that include building a more innovative, low-carbon economy.

The corporation is expected to be operational by the fall and would be led by a yet-to-be hired chief investment officer responsible for decisions without interference from outside parties or government.

A board of directors appointed by cabinet would include two public servants and seven people from outside the public service.

Premier John Horgan says the fund will support start-ups, help promising companies scale up and attract world-class talent to the province, supporting economic recovery in all regions.