Helen Keller told us that “optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence” and your BC Liberal government has never been more confident and optimistic about the future of British Columbia; constantly building on our already posted achievements.
When we were elected by British Columbians in 2001 we were presented with a financial disaster that was highlighted by the $3.8 billion structural deficit that was left by ten years of NDP fiscal mismanagement. We inherited a province that had been plagued by what were commonly called NDP “fudge-it-budgets” where the NDP would offer millions in surpluses in pre-election promises knowing that there would actually be millions of dollars in deficit after the election. The NDP left British Columbians with eight consecutive deficit budgets that doubled the provincial debt in the ten years they were in office. Furthermore, the legacy of six consecutive credit downgrades left BC with the worst fiscal record in Canada.
In the face of these mounting catastrophes the people of British Columbia expressed their optimism and confidence in the leadership of the BC Liberal Party, voted us in and we started work. So did we do it? You bet we did!
Since forming government we have balanced the budget every year between 2004 and 2008 and used our record surpluses to pay down debt. In fact we made the largest single debt pay-down in BC history in 2004/2005 – $1.90 billion. We have built our province back into a “have province” with fiscal policies that have led to seven consecutive credit upgrades for BC, saving tax payers tens of millions that would have otherwise gone to higher interest payments. These policies and related actions have returned BC to an AAA credit rating which puts us in an elite class not only in our country, but our continent and the world. We continue to put Families First by keeping taxes low, reflected in the fact that BC has the lowest provincial personal taxes in Canada. We are proud that in the last decade BC was second only to Alberta in total percentage of job growth, nearly 18.5 per cent which is 2.5 percentage points higher than the Canadian average and since December 2001 BC has added over 430,000 jobs.
Our BC Jobs Plan is working!
There are those like Norm Macdonald who will tell you that our current provincial financial situation has never been “more dire” and will also try to tell you that you are worse off than you have ever been. Frankly, he and those of his ilk could be no further from the truth.
British Columbia families count on their government to live within their means and your current government is committed to continue doing just that. In spite of mounting global economic woes, our future as British Columbians has never looked brighter or more hopeful.
Doug Clovechok is the BC Liberal Party candidate for olumbia River-Revelstoke. You can reach him at 250-688-1178 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org