EDITORIAL: Not-so-much fun with numbers

Parksville Qualicum Beach voters will have to do a lot of research on their own to learn about the real provincial budget story

he budget is balanced.

No it’s not.

He’s the 2.8 billion-dollar-man.

Her balanced budget is really a deficit of $790 million.

Wasn’t there a time when math was somewhat definitive?

Voters who want the truth about the province’s finances are not going to get it from the NDP or the B.C. Liberals. For them, it’s all about spin.

The degree to which Adrian Dix and Christy Clark play games with the reporting of this province’s financial health is staggering and insulting.

Financial reporting should not be a he said-she said matter. We are not accountants, but we believe we have a layman’s grasp of a budgeting process: this is how much we are bringing in (revenue), this is how much we are spending (expenses) and here’s the difference (surplus or deficit).

When she visited Parksville on Tuesday, we asked Premier Clark to explain, in terms the majority of Parksville Qualicum Beach voters could understand, just how to see the financial truth with all of this spin, this fun-with-numbers games political parties play.

She suggested people seek out and read what independent bonding agencies have to say about the most recent B.C. Liberal’s provincial budget. And she admits that research would be “kinda tough slogging” for average voters.

It’s a reasonable suggestion — an independent look is what’s required here. But who has that time, and is it not sad we can’t get the straight goods from our political leaders?

Meanwhile, Dix said Wednesday an NDP government would sell B.C. Place. Provided they don’t social-engineer the Request for Proposals to death, it’s not a bad suggestion.

But it’s also the NDP that says the B.C. Liberals are balancing the budget partially through the sale of assets.

So, Dix wouldn’t roll the proceeds from any sale of B.C. Place into general revenue to get a budget closer to the balanced point? Yeah, right.

The people of this province deserve more straight talk and less spin from its leaders.

— Editorial by John Harding

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