B.C. Jobs Plan, Families First and a so-called Balanced Budget. Those were the slogans on which the BC Liberals campaigned in the 2013 provincial election. Now that the BC legislature has adjourned its fall 2015 sitting, and with the next election on the horizon in 2017, it appears to be a good time to evaluate the performance of the government – and the pretenders to the throne of power.
B.C. Jobs Plan
…despite mixed employment indicators… Firm domestic demand prevailed despite employment in the province hitting a slow patch so far this year. Private-sector hiring took a step back in the first eight months of 2015; however, we still expect the labour market to gain traction in 2015, as hiring in health care and social assistance helps to keep employment above year-ago levels. These gains have been insufficient to move the needle downward on the unemployment rate, however. Entrants to the labour force outpaced job growth so far this year despite population growth losing some steam. The net increase in the number of immigrants from abroad fell to the lowest number since records began in 1991 and was led by a sharp decline in the number of non-permanent residents locating to the province. (RBC Economics | Research September 2015)
Private sector lost jobs. Public sector bloat grew. More health care and social assistance costs to be funded by taxpayers. Unemployment rate rises (marginally), to be fair). Unemployment up 6.4% comparing year over year October 2014 to October 2015. Source: statcan.gov.ca
Jobs available for emerging work force (supply) not being met by the important full-time, permanent jobs available (demand).
Non-permanent residents locating to BC declines (partially due to the unavailability of jobs)
Let’s look back at the pre-2013 BC Election campaign wherein Christy Clark and her BC Liberals spent immense amounts of taxpayer dollars fearlessly trumpeting the ‘success’ of the BC Jobs Plan. The results speak for themselves.
Political propaganda at the BC taxpayer expense? Of course. Is the once flaunted LNG industry money making and job creation scheme having any impact? Of course not.
An aside to Christy Clark: If you are afraid to throw support behind pipeline projects and tankers on the West Coast, just how did you plan to get your LNG to foreign markets other than the US?
Just another example of the blind electorate being led by the blind politicians and bureaucrats?
Grade: C minus (that could turn into a D very easily if the overall Canadian GNP continues to decline or if there is a catastrophic drop in housing prices in BC that would dry up consumer confidence and spending.
Peter Lang says he received a letter from the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) warning that his son’s privacy rights were breached by Peter speaking out about his son’s case. Source: globalnews.ca October 15, 2015
Grieving parents are being advised by a government ministry that they are not allowed to discuss the horrific tragedy of a child who died while in the care of the province of BC.
Like most BC residents, I am appalled and disgusted with the insensitivity of overpaid, cold-blooded mercenary bureaucrats and politicians who think that the state cannot be faulted for its inappropriate actions in this case. Rational, normal human beings know that parents are the best resource and loving environment for their children, in the vast preponderance of cases.
What manner of cold-blooded reptilian bureaucracy has the temerity to censure a grief-stricken parent who wishes the facts to be brought forward? There are literally no words to describe my revulsion for the BC government’s actions in this horrific case.
There is little sense in discussing any of the other multitudinous failures of the BC government concerning Families First.
CURRENT STATE Finance Minister Michael de Jong’s description that B.C.’s budget is “balanced on a knife edge,” is wholly accurate. Last year’s surplus came in at less than 1 % of the total budget. If government had not kept spending in check, B.C. could have easily dipped into the red. The year-end statements for 2013-14 showed revenue was several hundred million dollars less than expected, meaning budgeted spending had to be cut as well.
LOWEST INCOME TAXES IN THE COUNTRY: NO LONGER Like any business, governments are usually careful to make sure their taxation schemes are competitive with neighbouring jurisdictions. Virtually every government, at every level, compares themselves to their peers to ensure they are not driving out taxpayers with unnecessary higher rates. The B.C. government is no different. Buried in the back of every provincial budget document is Table A3, comparing six tax scenarios for families, individuals and seniors in every province in Canada. Not too long ago, these charts showed B.C. had the lowest personal income taxes in the country. Unfortunately for taxpayers, that is no longer true. In four of the six scenarios listed in the budget document, B.C. now trails other provinces. Source: Canadian Taxpayers Association 2015
BC’s economy is indeed ‘balanced on a knife’s edge’. If:
Canada’s economy falters in any significant way after the policies of the federal Liberals are implemented,
the access to foreign markets is impacted as a result of the BC Liberals refusal to take a necessary stand on the need to enlarge (not contract) BC’s unique position as the western port of entry and egress for primary and manufactured goods and resources (through expanded pipelines, rail service and tanker traffic),
the inability of the emerging educated BC youth to find meaningful employment in the permanent, viable job market continues to grow,
the much vaunted LNG industry windfall does not materialize (as it certainly will not) and most importantly,
the BC Housing Bubble bursts, with a commensurate decline in consumer confidence and spending (that is currently at an almost unprecedented level),
then the BC economy will certainly decline with potential disastrous consequences to BC and its residents.
Grade: B- (bordering on C or worse based on any of the aforementioned economic scenarios)
Stay tuned for an analysis of the platform promises, policies and the prospective impact on life in BC relating to the other political parties who are currently ‘Pretenders to the Throne’.