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B.C. Premier hesitates to guarantee balanced budget

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Despite 'deficit-free zone' promise and legislation's constraint, Campbell says he doesn't know what February will bring ...Read the full article

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  1. Maurice Nulens from Squamish, Canada writes: I have no faith in What Gordo says.
  2. Bobbie Smith from Langley, Canada writes: I strongly believe in balanced budgets, but given the current economic crisis it might be impossible to deliver without significant cuts in spending. Are there any other Province's or jurisdictions that are committed to balanced budgets at all costs?
  3. L B from Canada writes: it freaking amazing, who wouldn't have known,, but what the heck they got their huge pay raises, bailed out the Olympics,oh gordo ,here is one screwdriver just for you,for old time sakes.
  4. Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: Campbell has never had a balanced budget. He has sold off assets like BC Rail, like our river systems and power, like real estate, like public school properties, like...and then said he had a balanced budget.

    If you sell your assets and put the money in your chequing account and then say you have a balanced budget, a real friend would take you to the hospital for a mental assessment.

    Lowering your net worth for short term cash flow is not a balanced budget -- its just stupid.
  5. D Epp from Canada writes: Are we surprised that Campbell is backtracking now? After blaming all the province's ills on the NDP - for years! - now he's getting a taste of reality. Yes, he's cut back drastically on services in order to balance the budget, and left this province a lot uglier than it was when he started.

    However, it sure sounds like he's aiming his sights higher now - I bet he'll be running for the CPC in the next election. He probably doesn't care if his party loses the May election as he'll be able to let the NDP take the fall for the economic downturn if they form the next government. Or maybe he's next on the list of Harper's appointed senators?
  6. A Concerned Canadian from Canada writes: What can you do? We have an opposition party that's asleep in their seats at best. With a one party province Mr. Campbell can pretty much do as he pleases with little or no opposition. With his convention centre and 2010 olympics alone he has managed to single handedly put this province in the poor house for generations.

    How can you trust a convicted drunk?
  7. Bert Russell Paradox, BC from Canada writes:
    Gordo keeps two set of books .... balancing should be easy. What we really need in BC is a Municipal Act with clout. Referendums like the Feds where they require 51% of eligible voters.
  8. Wilf Kruggel from Canada writes: Maurice Nulens, you can thank you lucky a$$ that "Gordo" is your premier as beautiful British Columbia came within an ace of being a have-not province, like afew others in Canada, with the communists at the helm. If you give your head a shake, you may realize that Gordon Campbell is the best thing that happened to BC in a long time, so count your blessings as I'm sure that alot of understanding BCcitizens are and have. Wilf
  9. Stephen Green from North Saanich, BC, Canada writes: Given what NDP Carole James is promising, give me Campbell any day. The NDP really do not have a clue.
  10. Ed Long from Canada writes: James and the NDP have been given more big easy pitches to hit out of the park and have never even taken a good swing. They are no opposition.

    B.C. will be okay but the big question, as described in Saturday's Vancouver Sun, may be the P3s, and the surrounding projections.

    Financing is becoming dodgy due to the global credit crisis. As billed, the developer assumes risk but until completion only. After completion, these projects typically carry 30 year contracts for revenues from tolls, maintenance, etc. And those contracts have revenue minimums with guarantees of government top-ups.

    The problem is that those revenue minimums are based upon projections of endless growth ..... you know what that is getting us. Can you spell, condo. collapse?

    The B.C. government has projected population growth of 1 million in the Lower Mainland in ten years. Much of the development, including P3s, is based upon those type of projections .... a 40% growth in population.

    Gordo may have things in the bag in the short term. But he will want to skidaddle out of B.C. immediately following the Olympics, for a long time.
  11. Rick C from Canada writes: Without a balanced premier here in B.C., a balanced budget seems like a bit of a streach.
  12. Laura Labelle from Ladysmith, Canada writes: Why do people continue to hack Carole James - Campbell of all people.
    The NDP left us with a 33 million dollar surplus.

    Good Bye Gordo, can't wait for May.
  13. thinking-about-it Canada from Victoria, Canada writes: So I'm wondering why Campbell feels the need for tax-payers to pay the airfare, hotel bills and food expenses so he can sit in the House of Commons for the budget speech. Surely in tough economic times he could watch on-line or listen to a radio like those of us footing his salary. And I'm sure he isn't making this trip alone.. no doubt countless aides and assistants will be part of this tax-payer gambit. Enough!!!
  14. Don M from Canada writes: If you think we are or will be in bad shape, count your blessings that Carole James and crew are not in power or we would already be in dept and would be going further. Listen closely to the spending of the NDP and see if you think we can really afford it.
    Beware of a party that said they will defeat it before they even know what it is. Kids are smarter.
  15. Anti Fascist from Canada writes: If we ever needed the NDP now is the time, stop the sell out of BC's resources, stop Gordocchio's wreaking crew.

    For the record:

    NDP 1999: 52 million surplus
    NDP 2000: 1.3 billion surplus
    NDP 2001: 1.5 billion surplus
    Liberal 2002: 5 billion deficit!!!!
  16. Anti Fascist from Canada writes: We need a Danny Williams for Premier in BC, not the stuffed white whale we have now, the booze bloated oaf Gordocchio has lied just too many times.

    I believe that his administration will rival the corruption of Grant Devine's cons in Saskatchewan. I believe a dozen of those rascals saw the inside of the crowbar hotel.

    Bring back the NDP!
  17. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: ...back off Gordo you people.....the poor guy is up to his ears in aligators and doesn't know which way is's enough to drive him back to the flask.....
  18. Vickky Angstrom from Canada writes: Don M: Short term tactics like cutting taxes and selling off public assets like forest lands, railways, schools and rivers are not the same as an economic strategy.

    Real economic stability comes from having healthy, educated people -- regardless of background. The population is the economic base of any community -- and Campbell has cut all the services that provide stabilizers for the population.

    Campbell is privatizing as fast as he can which means that the economic base will be further destabilized as the majority of British Columbians will not be given the grounding to build a decent life.
  19. Daniel Cunningham from Victoria, writes: Campbell was a slimeball as mayor of Vancouver & he continues to be a slimeball as Premier of BC. He should have done the honourable thing & resigned after he was convicted of drunk driving in Hawaii.
  20. Coach rich from Vancouver, Canada writes: Under the NDP BC's SP credit rating drops but under the BC Libs it's it goes up. Go figure who's doing & will do the better job.
  21. Wilf Kruggel from Canada writes: Anti Fascist, if memory serves me correctly, weren't the books cooked during that period of time by the commies to try and win the next election? I think you find that is what happened. You must be an out of work union hound. Your commie buddies increased the government work force by 14000 during that period of time. They nothing but shame to brag about, either federally or provincially. Wilf
  22. Paul who is from Vancouver, Canada writes:

    Point Grey's Gordon Campbell = "Rock-solid commitments"?

    "I hope my being there is simply a statement about unity."

    "For me, this is a budget that is about jobs first, jobs second and jobs third."

    The Grand Poobah of Point Grey is an amusing guy.

    Point Grey worships this guy.
  23. little bowpeep from Boy Oh Boy, Canada writes: If only I could turn the government double-speak into rocket fuel, I could make it halfway across the galaxy.
  24. Paul Dieter from Canada writes:
    Seems like Gordo's balanced budget legislation is only designed to apply to the opposition, sort of like Steve Harper's fixed election date law...

    Why hasn't the Basi-Virk affair been allowed to see the inside of a courtroom? The details of this twisted web of corruption that saw nearly every Campbell bigwig's office get raided, have been buried. The people of BC need to know the truth.
  25. aging oldtool from Canada writes: This is what happens when you govern through smoke and mirrors.

    Perhaps this will be a lesson to other right-of-centre governments that flim-flam like forced balanced budgets and vote-seeking tax cuts are usually dogs waiting for a surprise to set them barking.

    Gordon Campbell has spent far too much time chasing imagery such as fixed election dates (Harper did them in), that do nothing other than encourage slow thinkers to smile.

    Maybe, just maybe, sitting in the Commons gallery today will force Campbell to see the stupidity of his ways as Stephen Harper has also learned after a rude wake up late last year.

    People want result based action, not trickery.
  26. Andrew Smith from Pickering Ontario, Canada writes: I will save you the suspense. Government insiders are already leaking a figure of $2B (without any stimulus spending) due to a reduction in revenue (stumpage fees, oil and gas royalities, corporate tax, etc).

    All Gordo is doing is trying to massage the details so that people in BC accept the fact when he has to announce it in February.
  27. Kim Morton from Qualicum Beach, Canada writes: Vicky Angstrom: Could you please tell us what forest lands the province sold off?
    Anti Fascist: Your reference for the mythical NDP surpluses is a Dipper rag. If you read the Auditor generals report you would find that in all those years of NDP mismanagement we had a steadily increasing debt. Revenue borrowing= spending is not a balanced budget.
    For any of you who want to blame this on the Olympics guess which Premier got us into the bidding process? None other than the master of disaster Glen Clark.
  28. Zando Lee from Vancouver, Canada writes: least Gordo has the Mounties in his corner as they continue running interference on his behalf in the snail-paced legal proceedings currently underway in court involving 2 ex members of the chosen flock....remember Gordo's rise to power was facilitated by the then head Mountie who in effect did a real legal nasty on the hapless Glen Clark, some even call it a coup....yep in BC we have the best Mountie assisted government in Canada....he's gonna put them up in cruise-ship comfort gourmet style during the Olympics..... just to say thanks.....
  29. aging oldtool from Canada writes: Kim Morton from Qualicum, it's time for you old fossils to realize the Auditor General and the BC courts removed any doubt years ago about those fictitional NDP deficit budgets.

    It's time to catch up with reality fellow.

    Quit depending on the Vancouver Province for economic or finance news and never trust a political thought in it or the Vancouver Sun.

    BTW, Kim don't you remember the Kelowna yahoo who sued former premier Glenn Clark? You likely do, but I'll bet you don't like to even think about the fact the court called the suit a political effort with no validity to it at all.

    Balanced budget every year of the last NDP government Kim. Next time, read the facts before proving you didn't.

    You are correct that Clark made the first run at the Olympics, but it was Gordon Campbell and his Vanoc pals who opted to spend about a Billion or so on a short highway for wealthy Whistler property owners.

    And we can't forget that it was the very Campbell-friendly, recently turfed NPA council in Vancouver city hall that has city taxpayers in debty up to the necks over another Olympics financial fiasco.
  30. Daniel Cunningham from Victoria, writes: Kim Morton from Qualicum Beach, Canada writes: Vicky Angstrom: Could you please tell us what forest lands the province sold off?
    Uh gee that would be a wide swath of land down here - just outside of Sooke actually. Its been in the papers quite a bit - the Minister of Forests went against recommendations from his own ministry & allowed the forest company to sell land out of the TFL to a local developer. Yet another example of the corrupt practices of the provincial Liberals - and soundly criticized by the provincial Auditor. But don't let that stop you from beaking off about the NDP.
  31. Steve C from Vancouver, Canada writes: This province doesn't need another NDP Government. Carole James and her party live in a fantasy world just like alot of the NDP provincially and nationally. Remember Mike Farnworth's bill about bullet proof vests? Or Jack Layton saying he'll reject Harper's budget WITHOUT even reading it.... Sounds like great management styles to me.
    While I like what the NDP strive to do for in terms of social programs and things like that. One thing is certain...IT TAKES MONEY TO FUND THESE PROGRAMS! NDP will likely raise taxes to pay for all of these. They'll specifically raise corporate taxes...which means corporations will probably leave the province eventually (remember the 90's folks????)...which means less jobs in the province ultimately....which means more deficits...which means program cuts get my drift.
    The Liberals aren't perfect just like the NDP isn't perfect. Given the choice between the two and looking at the overall state of the province...I'd still vote Liberals...too bad Carole Taylor isn't running for the Premiere's job though!
  32. Doug MacGregor from Canada writes: Dim Morton from Qualicum Beach, Canada writes: V
    Anti Fascist: Your reference for the mythical NDP surpluses is a Dipper rag. If you read the Auditor generals report you would find that in all those years of NDP mismanagement we had a steadily increasing debt. Revenue borrowing= spending is not a balanced budget.

    Oh, you mean like the PPP projects that Gordo is claiming don't leave the taxpayer on the hook? Try telling that lie again to the people of Vancouver and you might get lynched.

    The facts are clear, Gordo Campbell is BC's deficit meister, who has set the all time record for BC deficits, and is now drowning the province in Olympic sized debt faster than ever with his Public to Private Pockets ripoffs. Convicted Drunk Gordo has to go!

    Gordo has been in Office for 8 years, and his whacko right wingnut supporters still try to claim everything is the fault of the NDP! Give us a break, already!
  33. sveneggs blogspot from nanaimo, Canada writes: The scar of the second highest child poverty rates in Canada?

    The scar of the Convention center 500 million over run in Vancouver?

    The scar of the BC Rail gate and the ongoing trial of the Liberal's staff?

    The scar of the decline in BC Ferries and the increase use of fossil fuels by the new 'gas guzzler' das boats?

    The scar of deputy Ministers getting a 40% wage increase?

    The scar of the destruction of our wild rivers by Liberal private power policies?

    The scar of (fill in the blank) my fingers are getting sore!
  34. Second Look from Canada writes: "You are correct that Clark made the first run at the Olympics, but it was Gordon Campbell and his Vanoc pals who opted to spend about a Billion or so on a short highway for wealthy Whistler property owners." aging oldtool

    Aging oldtool: Did you know there is a common denominator with the NDP & the BC Libs which has existed for decades and makes for strange bed follows?

    Don't'cha wonder why the NDP have been merely swatting at VANOC with a limp wrist over the past years - it's now a little late to start crying foul isn't it? Where has the NDP been on behalf of the people of BC as Opposition to this out of control mess that will burden BC for decades to come? Has politics been intervening?

    Could it be because Poole's company, Concert Properties is funded by Union pension funds from its earliest birth as Vancouver Land Corp. when Campbell was Mayor with Dobell as City Mgr????

    Now we have a heavy representation from Concert Properties: Poole, Podmore etc. at the helm and board of Vanoc, along with BC Govt. officials (along with Dobell all buddies from VLCorp deal on the free City land development deal when Campbell was Mayor) on the Brd and committees of Vanoc.

    Kind of a foot in each camp isn't it? Incestuous you say at the taxpayers expense surrounding Vanoc and the hidden deals, including the Athletes Village now with Podmore inserted in the mix? Same old pattern of players?

    Kinda makes it hard for the NDP to be a strong Opposition doesn't it?

    Does Concert Properties still get to call the shots with a free ride when & if the NDP are elected?

    Just asking the hard questions . . . .
  35. Peter Fulton from Vancouver, Canada writes:
    Gordo over the NDP any day...

    The last thing we need is more NDP 'fast ferries' stimulus projects.
    The NDP are amateurs and have proved it in the past.

    At least we'll be able to USE the Convention Centre and new Skytrain.

    I don't care if it's been 8 years of Libs...

    NDP? - never again.
  36. Second Look from Canada writes: Speaking of ferries, Peter, the ferries that Hahn under the BC Libs ordered from Germany keep breaking down . . . . too bad that local shipbuilders were done out of local jobs.

    In contrast to the debt wracked up in the Billions of $$$ by the Campbell crew with Vanoc and all of the projects connected, the fast ferries are a drop in the pond in comparison to the tsunami of debt BC taxpayers will be left with after those 8 yrs. of reign, you speak of.

    And let us also remember the disgraceful taxpayers' loss of assets including their BC Rail for private benefit of persons connected to the BC Libs (now involved in a massive lawsuit of involving allegations of corruption from a Raid on the Legislature) alongside the loss of BC Hydro etc. etc.

    The fast ferries became a political scapegoat for the Libs to use against the NDP. I never remember any breakdowns. The Libs turned down an offer to replace the engines in the fast ferries to make them even better . . . . but alas, this did not fit the political agenda of the Campbell Libs.

    It's all about dirty politics, don't you think? - Behind the curtains many of the same players pull the strings irregardless of the party labels.

    We need Obama's clone & fast!
  37. Paul Dieter from Canada writes: Peter Fulton from Vancouver, Canada writes:

    The last thing we need is more NDP 'fast ferries' stimulus projects.
    The NDP are amateurs and have proved it in the past.
    At least we'll be able to USE the Convention Centre and new Skytrain.


    The NDP spent $450 million to give BC 3 state of the art "fast cat" ferries, that employed thousands of BCers and were built with BC aluminum. The NDP turned down a $195 million purchase offer, because the ferries were needed in service. Gordo, probably while on a binge, sold the fast cats for $19 million...and thus forced BC Ferries to spend over $600 million on replacement vessels...and these ships, Gordo's "slow dogs", built in ex-nazi German u-boat yards simply don't run properly! Word on the street is that these examples of "Doenitz's Revenge" will have to go back to the u-boat yards for repairs...So Gordo turned a $250 million NDP overrun into another $800 million and counting, boondoggle! Yet $800 million is a drop in the bucket compared to Gordo's other deficit inducing disasters, such as the aforementioned T&C Centre and the other PPP disasters.
  38. Rick Jones from The Rock, Canada writes: Gordon Campbell is the "frosted flake"... he has an attention span of about a minute-and-a-half...

    Carol James is a wimp. If she was a decent leader, she would have decimated the BC Liberals by now, but she hasn't, won't or can't...

    Campbell's government is arrogant and corrupt.

    James will probably screw up, but Campbell needs to be punished.

    In a few more years, I will likely vote to punish James.

    That's how most BC'ers vote....
  39. aging oldtool from Canada writes: Second Look, I can't dispute your cast of Vanoc and Co. players, but I must say they do tilt to the right, business with politicians aside.

    Odd how each connection you raised seemed to come back to Gordon Campbell and this I do know, he is no friend of the NDP.

    As for the NDP, give me a break. In the first four years it ran on two cylinders. This past four is another kettle with a leader who wanted to provide a polite demeanor to the voters while a railway, several ferries and a whole whack of other BC assets disappeared and the debt just grew.

    Rest assured I understand well, regardless of the colour of the suit, whoever is premier of BC in 2010 will be sucking it up bigtime with your list of Vanocers and other hangers on.
  40. Arthur Meighen from Spuzzum-on-the-Sea, Canada writes: El Gordo and his merry band of Liberal bandits are long overrdue for their trip to the legislative glue factory. Good riddance already!
  41. Second Look from Canada writes: I appreciate your reply/insight, aging oldtool.

    Re your quote : "This past four is another kettle with a leader who wanted to provide a polite demeanor to the voters while a railway, several ferries and a whole whack of other BC assets disappeared and the debt just grew." . . . . so true - it was a time to raise cane!

    Here's a superb Blog you might want to check out, run by BC Mary (nominated for a Webster Award last year) who has gained a large following for her indepth digging/gathering of threads of every aspect of the disgraceful BC Rail/Raid on the Leg scandal as it endlessly unfolds:

    As a US Federal Court Judge wrote in 2002:


    Therein lies the problem of the chaos that has brought British Columbia to its knees, mired in scandal and coverups . . . don't you agree?

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