The BC Conservatives say it is an NDP budget; Susan Lambert from the BC Teachers Federation says it represents cuts for every school board across the province, in spite of the increased education budget and declining enrolment; and the NDP keeps talking about BC Place stadium.
Gordon Wilson, a voice from the past, says it is a budget from the past, focussing as it does on resource industries. Funny though, that's where BC revenues are coming from at the moment.
People who like the budget include the construction industry, the taxpayers federation, and the Vancouver Board of Trade who give it a "B".
Budget day is a time for a government to define its objectives and for opponents to define what they don't like in a government. Tuesday, BC budget day, was Minister Kevin Falcon's time to deliver his first budget, and Premier Clark's opportunity to define her goals over the next three years.
Although there is a projected deficit of nearly $1b on a $44b budget, the Premier clearly intends to take a balanced budget into next year's election.
Fortunately BC has managed to stay in a good financial position. The province is not faced with anything like the dire economic situation found in Ontario, or worse, failing economies around the world. Clearly Minister Falcon intends to keep it that way.
Every budget has two goals: A financial one and a political one. The financial one was delivered in the legislature on Tuesday. It's the political one we will hear about over the next year leading up to the election in 2013 – that defining difference between the hold-the-line BC Liberals and the NDP, who have declared that they are ready to tax more and spend more.
You can read the whole budget document here and draw your own conclusions: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/
- post by Suzanne Anton. Listen to Suzanne each Monday morning on CBC Radio One Vancouver at 7:40am for the Early Edition political panel.