Readers have asked if I would be amongst the people racing to report on BCs 2017 budget. My answer is that I’d rather be right than first.
CBC News was rushing to be first and they pushed out a stream of information, including this:
The news dumped by CBC would surprise anyone who has followed the real flow of money to the province from natural gas. But, of course, CBC was wrong.
The actual revenue from natural gas royalties is forecast to be $159 million in the current year and $237 million in the year ended March 2018.
Government forecasts that four year natural gas royalties total, 2017 through 2020, may be $926 million although that doesn’t deduct any growth in production tax credits that industry is accruing but government is not recording. In the past four years, the liability to producers increased by $1,158 million.
If the liability for unrecorded credits – amounts that can be deducted from future royalties – continues to grow at the rate of the past four years, BC will receive no net gas royalties, provided that a more honest government begins to record the liability. There is already $2+ billion owed to producers.
As the above demonstrates, early reports can be both wrong and incomplete. CBC News, you were both.
By the way, is it appropriate to ask Liberals about this promise made before the 2013 election?
…Projected total revenues to government are estimated between $130 billion and $260 billion over the next 30 years. In order to maximize the benefits of these developments to future generations of British Columbians, the provincial government is establishing a new British Columbia Prosperity Fund…
By 2020, seven years will have passed and the piggy bank will still hold no royalties from natural gas.