Looking at the provincial governments own Budget and Fiscal Plan 2016 / 2017 is not for the faint of heart. There are a number of things that could have a severe impact resulting in debt increasing by an even greater amount.
- impacts of the expiration of
the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada
and the United States. And guess what, it's expired, and USA lumber producers are not happy about Canada's
share of lumber used there. Our province (BC) has the largest number of
lumber producing companies in Canada, making us the biggest
target of countervailing duties that WILL BE imposed on us.
Anyone seeking the results of the last go-round with the US will find that ... "In the previous softwood dispute, the U.S. imposed duties totaling 27 per cent. It took five years of litigation by Canada at a cost of more than $100 million to have the duty reduced to zero. By that time, the U.S. had collected US$5.4 billion in duties. Only US$4.4 billion was returned"
What does that mean for British Columbians? In all likelihood it will result in reduced lumber production, job losses not just in the sawmills, but also losses for those in logging and trucking, and decreased revenues to the BC government
- the outcome of litigation, arbitrations, and negotiations with third parties, including the appeal of the Supreme Court of Canada decision on the teachers’ contract issue. Well we already know how that's gone ... the BC government lost, and the first round of expenses are already being added up. In mid-November last year, the Vancouver Sun suggested the government will likely have to hire hundreds of teachers and spend between $250 million and $300 million more each year on education