Liberal Budget Questioned
The BC government’s fiscal plan calls for a balanced budget, but many
people aren’t buying the predictions—and many are wondering who it’s
Liberal Finance Minister Gary Collins has repeatedly touted that the
$30.2 billion 2004-05 budget will deliver a $100 million surplus—the
first surplus BC has had since the record-setting $1.5 billion surplus
realized by the last NDP budget of 2001.
“We have introduced a balanced budget for 2004/05 and are on track to
beat our bottom line target for last year, despite more than $1 billion
in unexpected costs from forest fires, floods, SARS, BSE and changes to
federal equalization,” said Collins. “As a result of our resilient
fiscal plan, we are now able to fund new investments that bring out the
best in education and patient care, accelerate funding for the
province’s Olympic commitment, and enhance our strategy for economic
Collins also predicts a $275 million surplus for 2005-06 and $300
million in 2006-07 based on projected GDP growth rates of 2.8 per cent
this year and 3.1 per cent for the following two years.
But critics are dismissing Collins’ claims as overly optimistic and
dishonest, and predict BC’s faltering economy will continue to sink as
a result.... see Budget Questioned
Think Tank Proposes “Alternative” BC Budget
invited the world. They’re coming. And the place is a mess.
for Policy Alternatives BC office
The 2010 Olympic games are coming in just six years. The world will be
watching—but what will they see?
If the spotlight shines on a Vancouver ravaged by poverty and
homelessness, crippled by traffic congestion, or in the middle of an
environmental controversy, any efforts to promote the city or province
will be seriously blighted.
The provincial government needs to prepare British Columbia for a truly
world class performance in 2010. If we continue to ignore pressing
social needs, we’ll wind up hoping no one looks under the carpet,
instead of welcoming the global spotlight.
The 2004 BC Solutions Budget uses the Olympics to anchor a six-year
public investment strategy that would go beyond the minimum
requirements for hosting the games, and use the Olympics as a
springboard to revitalize the provincial economy.... see Alternative Budget