Category: Debt

To count or not to count…

Recently, economist Erik Andersen circulated a paper discussing government liabilities and the games played by governments to disguise unconscionable growth of debt during non-recessionary times. I’ve expanded Erik’s words and we hope the following discussion will be understandable and helpful.

Surprise is surprising – UPDATED

$101 billion in contractual obligations is breathtaking? What is really surprising is that Toronto Globe and Mail’s BC political reporter didn’t notice before February of 2017. On one hand, I applaud Ms. Hunter for daring to mention the subject now. On the other hand, I wonder why she previously avoided this huge issue and did not report it fully in her newspaper?

Mumbling and fuzzifying

It cannot be taken for granted that PPPs are more efficient than public investment and government supply of services. One particular concern is that PPPs can be used mainly to bypass spending controls, and to move public investment off budget and debt off the government balance sheet, while the government still bears most of the risk involved and faces potentially large fiscal costs.

Have they lied to you before?

George Orwell: Political language …is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Although BC’s debt and obligations increased $99 billion in ten years, Liberals claim the province is “on track to be free of any operating debt by 2021.”

Designed to mislead

The British Columbia Liberal 2001 election platform had 37 references promising improved democracy, increased accountability or more open government. Its 2013 platform had none, because the party had lost interest in the goals, not because they had been attained. If ever any party strayed far from principles that first got it elected government, it is the one led today by Christy Clark. If you doubt my assertion, read through A New Era for British Columbia. That document was prepared by Gordon Campbell and his associates. Some will believe that it was a pack of lies from the start. Others would argue — excepting the page 9 promise to “not sell or privatize BC Rail” — that the Liberal Party started with good intentions and lost its way, corrupted by wealth and power…

What’s another billion or twenty?

Moody’s Investors Service issued a warning this week about rising debt at B.C. Hydro. In the first six months of fiscal year 2017, term debt increased $1.3 billion to $19.5 billion. That number is up $7.8 billion during Christy Clark’s time as Premier, which is an increase larger than the total term debt incurred in the utility’s first 48 years of operation. Of course, debt has been rising quickly despite current consumption being the lowest in the preceding 12 years.