BC Liberals

Borrow-and-spend politics

Today, I won’t argue about counting additional billions owing by way of contractual obligations to companies providing public facilities. These include:

  • producers exclusively supplying BC Hydro with electricity at 3x market price,
  • hospital, healthcare and educational facility P3 financiers,
  • bridge and road construction P3s,
  • builders of prisons and police and correctional facilities ,

and other “off-balance-sheet” agreements for public asset acquisitions.

Instead, I’ll show an updated chart of “total provincial debt.” It uses historical finance ministry reports and forward looking estimates from government’s most recent Budget and Fiscal Plan.

Debt is expected to increase $11 billion in the next three years.



Contractual obligations were not reported by government until 2006. The amount then was $34 billion. In fiscal year 2016, the total was $101 billion.

The 10-year increase (2006-2016) in contractual obligations was $67 billion, while regular provincial debt rose by $31 billion.

That’s almost $10 billion a year increase in financial commitments by a government that claims they are creating “debt-free BC.”


The following is from the article Designed to mislead, published at In-Sights in February. The audio clip is from a program by Mike Duncan, creator of fabulous history podcasts. The detail, accuracy and listenability of Duncan’s work continues to amaze me:

I mentioned in a recent CFAX1070 broadcast that, while travelling through BC’s hinterlands, I had been listening to an audio history of the French Revolution. It is work done by American historian Mike Duncan and this is an excerpt from Episode 3.4- of Revolutions, available at his website or through iTunes. Duncan talks about Louis XVI official Jacques Necker and the Compte rendu. You will recognize a similarity to British Columbia today.

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