Category Archives: election 2013

Debt is BC’s Biggest Issue

Our provincial debt is now at record levels.  In the coming weeks leading up to the election, understanding the full extent of the provincial debt, including any and all outstanding obligations, should be a primary focus of the election coverage.  ”

“Every BC resident needs to understand the connection between our provincial deficit and their own financial well being.  There is a direct correlation.”

Quite simply, the deficit is the single largest issue.  Without fixing this, we will not have funding in the provincial coffers for healthcare, education, infrastructure and other important programs.    If we are broke, we will have no options to protect the environment, educate our children and preserve our way of life.  We are seeing first hand consequences in Cyprus this month.  The utter devastation of the economy in Cyprus has resulted in private wealth being seized to pay down sovereign debt.

If we elect a government in 2013 that continues business as usual, BC will be setting a dangerous precedent by allowing special interests to mortgage our future.

As for the current budget, it would be good to also get a clarification of what assets will be sold on page 135 of the BC Budget in years 2013-2015.  These total over $700 million. As a taxpayer, I want to know what these are.

The budget also contains contradictions with other statements being given to us.  I would like to see an explanation of the projected increased in natural gas production on page 134.  The budget projects a growth in gas volume from 1461 petajoules (2011) to 2025 in 2015 (approximately 30% increase).  I am not saying it is not true, just wondering why our government is telling us the carbon tax is working while GHG’s are going up.  This needs to be explained.  BC residents are too smart to allow such a double standard.

Balanced budget legislation is worthless if not followed.   Asking why the Health funding is running a budget deficit of around $5 billion despite the BALANCED BUDGET AND MINISTERIAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT.  This act (Statutes BC 2001, Chapter 28) received royal assent on August 16, 2001.  It clearly states in section 2

The main estimates for a fiscal year must not contain a forecast of a deficit for that fiscal year.”

The following health funding report is from page 110 of the BC budget.

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 10.49.51 PM

Pay close attention to the bottom three lines.  Health care is important. If the true cost is $17, 266 million, then let’s budget that.  It is also fair to expect that the accounting for this be completely transparent so BC residents who can find ways to improve the efficiency of health care are able to help our province.  Having a budget that does not reflect reality just confuses everyone.

I’ve run business and started companies form nothing and grown them to be sold to Fortune 500’s.  This is not hard to do if everyone is transparent.  We need a change in BC on May 14.

LANGLEY, BC, FEB. 15, 2013 – During the decade between 2001 – when the BC Liberals first won election to government – and 2011, the province’s labour force grew by 18.1 per cent.

Over that same period, the number of temporary foreign workers entering British Columbia exploded by an incredible 137.0 per cent.

The BC Liberals’ much-advertised (with your tax-dollars) Jobs Plan clearly is working … for foreign workers. For British Columbians, well, that’s a different story.

The issue of temporary foreign workers raised public hackles a few months ago when HD Mining tried to import thousands of coal miners to work at their proposed coal mine in northeastern B.C. In the end, the company backed down, but B.C. still has 70,000 temporary foreign workers employed in the province.

In this issue of Campaign Briefing Notes, we look a little closer at the role of the BC Liberals in allowing temporary foreign workers to become a massive presence in the province’s labour force.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Kristy Fredericks
Director of Policy, Research & Communications
BC Conservative Party
604-530-1410
604-626-1374

kristyf@bcconservative2013.ca

Living in Your Own Riding

Living in your own riding?

Someone just stated to me that our Premier Christy Clark does not live in the riding in which she is elected.  I was shocked when I heard this and after some research, have found no evidence that she spends much time in this riding.

I am going to have to agree with one statement I saw from Graham King, a fellow developer in Vancouver.   Graham left a comment “Wouldn’t the best person to represent us actually _live_ here?“.

I concur with Graham.  I am running for MLA and I live in this riding.

Taxation – Fair and Simple

I was recently challenged (thank you Murray MacDonald!) to define “Fair Taxation”. I invite people to challenge things and this particular topic is very complex. I wish I was bestowed with the answer to this question however I don’t have a full answer. This is due in some way to the complexity of our tax systems which I believe needs to change. I do have some directions I would like to explore. The official BC Conservative Party Policy Document contains the basics of the platform. I encourage you to read it.

So what is Fair Taxation? For starters a fair tax system might include the following concepts:

Comprehendable – I would argue that our tax system has to be simplified so that people, including myself, can sufficiently understand it. I love math but the level of complexity of our finances is hard to understand.

Usefullness – As I research the Carbon Tax, I am finding some very disturbing facts. First, it doesn’t actually seem to reduce carbon. I belive the studies may be flawed but will stand corrected if they are not. I will grant it is difficult to measure GHG’s accurately. I am an environmentalist and I do not want to leave my children a damaged world. Second, the 2012 budget document contains an assumption that GHG emissions will actually climb! Why do we have a tax that does not reduce carbon and is revenue neutral? I would rather reduce GHG’s for real. The image below shows that the taxes will rise by around 10% between 2012 and 2015. Since it is taxed on volume, there is a linear relationship between the amount produced and the tax revenue. Still think the carbon tax is working?

Links:  Carbon Tax revenue – page 68 of the BC 2012 Budget

Transparency – The next BC budget contains some yet undefined items. The Government is planning to raise over $625 million from the “release of surplus assets”. What are those assets? Will this be like the BC Rail debacle again?

Links: Revenue by Source – page 15

Accountability – The following excerpt comes form the BC Conservative Party Policy Document:

ARTICLE 4. Financial Management.

Every tax dollar collected from British Columbians is received in trust. This trust must be managed and accounted for according to the highest standards of integrity and transparency. The people’s scrutiny of all spending decisions should be encouraged and welcomed.

Sounds good to me. At the same time, we are now being presented another budget that is more of the same broken promises and excuses.

I will write more on this topic later. Thank you Murray and others for being vigilant on this front.