EDITORIAL: Election budget

Liberals using taxpayer money to seed a fund that was supposed to come from LNG tax revenues

It’s not difficult to be cynical about the provincial government’s budget released Tuesday, or at least portions of it.

Back during the 2013 election campaign, Premier Christy Clark promised a “prosperity fund” fed by tax revenue from liquid natural gas (LNG) projects.

Well, the fossil fuel market is in the tank and, alas, there is no LNG from any new plants in any tank in B.C. No worries, the premier essentially said on Tuesday. Details, schmetails. A promise is a promise, said the MLA for West Kelowna through her finance minister, so we’ll take $100 million in surplus and start this prosperity fund with some seed money.

First thing: this is taxpayer money the province is using, not tax revenue from any increased activity in B.C.’s LNG world.

Second thing: what kind of foolish accounting practices are being followed that build in hundreds of millions of surplus dollars for an operating budget? It’s not difficult: bring in the money, spend it on services. Or pay off debt. If you are bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars more than what you are willing to pay on services, tax us less. Or take away the sales tax. Or eliminate MSP fees.

Even the most trusting or naive of souls can see how this is shaping up. In about 14 months there will be a provincial election. So, exactly whose prosperity are we talking about with this fund?

This situation reveals a government that believes its electorate is as dumb as a post. Or a government that is so arrogant it believes it can do what it wants, when it wants, with our hard-earned money. Or a government that believes it can’t be beat in the current two-party system of this province because it’s the only right-of-centre option.

The last point is probably true. Thankfully, the majority of B.C.’s people don’t believe in big government. They believe in business, even big business. They don’t believe in government red tape or the need for cradle-to-grave care. If their government has to be beholden to special interests, they’d rather they be capitalist or business-based, not socialist or union-based.

There’s no denying that has been the record in B.C. for the vast majority of its history. However, once in a while, the people perceive arrogance and they see a government or party (Liberals or Socreds, take your pick) that needs to be taught a lesson.

Lesson time might be coming for the B.C. Liberals in

14 months.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach staff moving forward with report for cinema, brew pub

Councillor makes motion to include The Old School House proposal

Annual pickleball tournament fills up quickly

Two-day event to take place indoors at Oceanside Place May 24-25

Lighthouse Country bus tour to focus on area’s tourism destinations

Business assocation wants more tourists to come to the area

Flock of spinners holding fleece and fibre fair in Coombs

Annual event raises money for Bradley Centre, supports local producers and vendors

Bowser residents protest marine sewage outfall plan

Veenhof and staff endures harsh criticisms at public information meeting

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

Most Read