Because corporate media does not report these figures, it is up to citizens to correct the record. Do so at every opportunity during the election campaign. Blow up the myth that Liberals, while pandering to special interests, are competent financial managers.
Hand out this page, with numbers taken from official Ministry of Finance records:
BC Liberals released the 2017 Budget and Fiscal Plan. The government elected by promising a “DEBT-FREE BC” forecasts total provincial debt will grow $11 billion to a total of $78 billion in next three years.
Under Christy Clark as Premier, provincial debt will have increased $33 billion, which was the total debt accumulated in the 130 years after British Columbia became Canada’s sixth province.
That $78 billion does not include the debt portion of contractual obligations, which total $100 billion but are not mentioned anywhere in 149 pages of the Budget and Fiscal Plan. The PR strategy is to never admit these exist or have impact. This is egregious dishonesty.
Contractual Obligations became a major financial commitment in the mid-2000s when Liberals privatized public services and moved major capital projects off balance sheet. Schools, healthcare facilities, bridges, highways and power installations – although commissioned by and for the public and paid for by the public – were financed by private organizations and therefore excluded from direct provincial debt.
Moving these public facilities off balance sheet provides questionable benefit but it allows politicians to misrepresent the province’s finances.
People in need of social assistance have benefits frozen for a decade. There is no money to help the most vulnerable citizens, but Liberals spend billions to help their friends and financial supporters. It is a greedy, hateful style of government.