British Columbia’s revenue from natural resources totalled $4 billion in fiscal year 2001. The Bank of Canada inflation calculator shows the equivalent in current dollars is $5 billion.
Natural resource revenue received by the province in fiscal 2013 was $2.5 billion, half the value, in constant dollars, returned to the province by the resource sector when BC Liberals took office.
Petroleum, natural gas and minerals returned $1.3 billion in 2013 compared to $2.4 billion in 2001, adjusted for inflation. That seems strange considering commodity prices are up by well more than inflation. Examples:
BC coal production: (source)
2001 – 25,680,900 tonnes worth $959 million
2012 – 28,578,000 tonnes worth $5,060 million
BC metals production: (source)
2001 – worth $1,394 million
2012 – worth $2,453 million
BC industrial minerals: (source)
2001 – worth $296 million
2012 – worth $472 million
BC construction aggregates: (source)
2001 – worth $217 million
2012 – worth $328 million
During their time in office, BC Liberals chose to shrink the public share of produced resources. This provided huge benefit to such as the Teck Resources group, a major producer of coal and metals. Their sales in 2011/12 were six times sales of 2000/01. Operating profits were up more than 1100%. Teck gained rewards worth billions and passed a few millions to the BC Liberals. The list shown here includes contributions from 2005. The Teck group is the BC Liberal’s largest contributor but other mining and energy companies have been generous supporters. Clearly, it’s good business for business to do business with the political party owned by business.
Unfortunately, that leaves the public treasury short of money for essential services. Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been pushing the government to protect the province’s most vulnerable children. Years after promising significant improvement, the Ministry of Children and Family Development still fails to meet its own standards. There continues to be insufficient resources.
I’ve had messages saying this article ignores the downward trend in natural gas prices and this contributes to reduced government revenues. Here is the Stats Canada graph of prices. I think it reinforces my basic position.