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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

There’re is no disputing the fact that debt will increase more than ten times higher than what the Ministry of Finance claims will be our budget surplus

LET ME GET THIS OUT OF THE WAY FIRST ... there is no disputing the fact that debt will increase more than ten times faster than what the Ministry of Finance claims will be our budget surplus.

 Okay ... now on to yesterdays Budget Speech

“Budget 2019 creates opportunities, makes life better for people”; so stated BC
NDP Finance Minister Carole James in announcing Budget 2019 yesterday

Right off the bat Finance Minister Carole James informed us that Budget
2019 would be creating opportunities for all British Columbians by delivering a new B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit for kids up to the age of 18, removing interest from B.C. student loans, reducing taxes for businesses, and investing in clean energy and climate solutions.

ALL THIS while balancing the budget over the next three years --- well sort of because it depends on if your calculator is functioning correctly.

Now I would be remiss if I did not point out the good in this new budget, and which I am glad to see.  My decision to do so was backed up in part after receiving a note from a friend who said to me, “I'd urge you to not mimic the Liberals' sky-is-falling nonsense. This budget helps lots of people like families and students”.

And it does indeed ….

First among them is the decision to eliminate interest on student loans. Indeed, as the government has stated, “Higher education should open doors, not make it harder to get ahead.”  Our province is in desperate need of medical people – hopefully this may allow more of our young people to enter medical school … perhaps someone who will graduate from high school this spring will decide the door has now opened for them to join those who will create the next generations of high-tech break-throughs ... the list goes on just from that one budget item alone, on how our province – our children and grandchildren - will be able to benefit from just this alone.

Raising disability, and income assistance, rates by $50 per month will I’m sure be welcome relief to those struggling to get by.  I am also delighted to see nearly $100 million go to support children and youth with special needs, and who are in residential care.

And I am also pleased to see that the new K-12 curriculum continues the recent work of weaving Indigenous knowledge and perspectives across every grade level by increasing the presence of Indigenous culture and history throughout all areas of learning in BC schools.

This next one come under the heading of partially righting a huge wrong from several years ago. 

In a hugely punitive move a number of years back, the government axed dozens and dozens of legal aid centres across the province -- these were being funded by a 7% sales tax that government had implemented on the legal system.  Basically, they STOLE that money dedicated to legal aid, and dumped it instead into the black hole called General Revenue.

While Carole James, and John Horgan, self-congratulate and pat themselves on the back because … Budget 2019 is providing funding to pilot legal clinics in up to eight communities across the province that is dozens less than what previously was in placed, and desperately need by those who needed legal help the most.  The stolen money has still not been returned.
What do I see as just a few of the negatives?

Let’s start with more pissing away of millions of dollars in a futile effort to tackle the overdose crisis. What the government is fling – is NOT WHAT IS NEEDED, and it infuriates me to see the pathetic steps taken while over well over a hundred people a month die from toxic poisoned drugs.

The government says that to support British Columbia’s long-term economic growth, government is investing $20 billion over three years to build the infrastructure BC needs to thrive, creating and supporting tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.   Budget 2019 however fails to mention that the $20 billion being invested will continue to have costs escalated by the so-called Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), whereby government projects will only be built by select union friends of the government, added millions to costs.

Oh, and here’s a good one:
The CleanBC plan, presented in December 2018, puts our province on the path to a cleaner, better future — with a low-carbon economy that creates opportunities for all while protecting our clean air, land and water.

They can package up that one with a all the bows and ribbons they want, but it still remains a path to destruction when it comes to BC’s resource industry.  One after the other, the GreeNDP government has implemented one roadblock after the other to ensure good high-paying resource projects are either delayed, scuttled, shut down, or strangled a slow death through every changing rules and regulations.

It can cost resource companies upwards of a billion dollars just to find out if they can get through an approval assessment, and so it’s no wonder billions and billions that should and could be investment right here in BC, instead flows to other countries!

So much for the government making sure people have the skills they need to succeed, and our labour force meets the demands of the market, we’re investing in education, skills training and skills recognition across the board.

Sadly, by the time our students leave post secondary education, with interest free loans, they won’t heave jobs to go to.  Talk about insanity!

Oh … speaking of insanity … let’s take a moment to talk about the B I G numbers!

Over the next three budget years, covering 2019 to 2022, the total so-called budget surplus the government has been crowing about will be $1.146 billion.

However, do you have any idea what will be happening to the debt over that same time period?  It will be increasing by just over $12 billion.

I’m reminded of a line in an old Tom Connors song that went; “We’ll save a lot of money spending money we ain’t got

The proof is in the pudding so feel free to check these numbers … there is no disputing the fact that debt will increase more than ten times higher than what the Ministry of Finance claims will be our budget surplus.

Debt at the beginning of 2018 stood at $65,737,000, and with the prudent financial management of John Horgan’s government it equaled $69,309,000 by years end (2018) … an increase of over 3.5 BILLION

Budget 2019 builds directly on the work started in Budget 2018 to deliver better services for people, make life more affordable, and put B.C. on a more sustainable path … again so says the government.  But do we really want to build on that kind of financial stability?   Let’s take a look at the next 3 years.

Apparently, we’re going to have a budget surplus of just over a quarter billion ($274 million for this coming year (2019) … and the NEW DEBT?  Carole James and company will add another $2.74 Billion, ratcheting things up to $72,048 BILLION by the end of 2019

Moving on to 2020 / 2021 the government of Premier John Horgan is please to announce another SO-CALLED surplus of $287 million in 2020 / 2021.  AND you ask, what will the new DEBT be, to go along with this so-called surplus?  It will be $77,659 BILLION … and another increase of course., this time in the amount of $5.6 BILLION

And finally, we come to what the government is looking at for the fiscal year 2021 / 2022, where it is alleged, we’ll have just under $600 million for a surplus ($585 million).  OH, and by the way, that will be election year of course!  And, to go along with that monumental $600 million proposed budget surplus, that the NDP will be shoveling into election goodies – we will now have a DEBT OF $81,375 BILLION!    

Kuh-Ching goes the cash register, as Finance Minister Carole James adds in another $3.7 Billion more in debt.

Now that beautiful full colour 2019 BC Budget document is 46 pages long … but if you big deep, all the way to page 44, you’ll find the numbers I just noted

The other day I was talking with Trevor Bolin, Peace River resident and Ft. St. John city councilor, regarding the February 13th Throne Speech.  When I look at yesterday’s Budget Speech, some of what he said resonates on it as well:

“ (it) seemed like hours chalk full of empty promises and items that aren’t of great concern to every day British Columbia’s, who are having a hard time earning enough income to support a family and pay all the new taxes of this province and country.”

“How about we focus on BC first and listen to the residents who are calling for ride sharing programs, enhanced vehicle insurance options, lower taxes, and more services for rural and urban B.C. alike.”

In Kamloops, I’m Alan Forseth, and I am very much interested in hearing what your thoughts are on this topic.  Please take a moment to write them down in the Comments Section directly below this blog post.


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