Provincial budget & finance

BC blinks on running a deficit

Feb 2, 2009
Now that the federal budget is over, I’ve been girding myself for the Feb 17 BC budget. My concern to date has been bold statements from both parties that they would never run a deficit, and that therefore we were in for a rerun of last Fall’s federal election where all parties kowtowed to the… View Article

Time to Pee on P3’s

Feb 1, 2009
Maybe it’s the Baja sun; perhaps it’s the tequila I’ve been forced to drink down here. But I just cannot understand the Vancouver Sun’s angst about the province financing one-third ($750 million) of the Port Mann project. The simple fact of the matter is that provincial government financing will reduce the tolls and/or taxes required… View Article

The utter stupidity of P3s in BC

Jan 30, 2009
For the “we told you so” file. The BC government has been insisting on P3s (so-called “public-private partnerships” where the private sector builds and operates infrastructure) all over the province. We at the CCPA have consistently argued that this practice is foolish: more complicated, more expensive, and leaving taxpayers holding the bag if anything bad… View Article

Breaking free of the “balanced budget” chains

Jan 25, 2009
As the next provincial budget is prepared (and election platforms are written), a core reality is this: we face huge economic uncertainty, which makes forecasting very difficult. With each passing month, economists are downgrading their GDP growth forecasts, and GDP growth (or decline) is what drives provincial revenues. In the face of this uncertainty, we… View Article

Fiscal tipping points

Budget making is an art. An underlying reality of BC budgeting is that it takes very little to tip provincial finances from surplus to deficit and back again, mainly due to factors outside the province’s control. Recall, for example, that during the Liberal’s first mandate, they inherited a surplus, then brought down two of the… View Article