Gordon Campbell's fudge-it budget fails to excite business leaders

This morning, B.C. Business Council executive vice president Jock Finlayson sounded remarkably sanguine on CKNW Radio as he discussed last February's provincial budget.

Finlayson said that without spending cuts, he expects this year's deficit to reach $2 billion. The B.C. Liberal government forecast a $495-million deficit.

If Finlayson's correct, Finance Minister Colin Hansen missed the mark by $1.5 billion.

This isn't unexpected. Former NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu laid out the problems in the B.C. Liberal fudge-it budget on this site last February. Earlier this month, NDP health critic Adrian Dix predicted that the B.C. Liberals would introduce cuts after the election.

The media didn't get too worked up about this.

Compare that to a decade ago when Glen Clark was the NDP premier. At that time, the B.C. Liberal Opposition was in a froth over the NDP's preelection budget trickery. The business community and the Fraser Institute nearly went berserk.

Three citizens were in such a rage over  a so-called fudge-it budget that they took three NDP MLAs  to court. The case was tossed out in 2000 after tons of publicity, which helped destroy the NDP's credibility in managing government finances.

Let's look at the circumstances of that case. The three voters  alleged that the NDP MLAs  stole their votes in the 1996 election by falsely claiming the budgets were balanced in 1995/96 and 1996/97.

After the 1996  election, the NDP government  revealed that the 1995/96 deficit was $355 million. When the NDP government introduced its budget the following year, it revealed that the 1996/97 deficit was $837 million.

Over a two-year period, the NDP missed the mark by less than Hansen's flub over  a single  year (if Finlayson's estimate is accurate). And this time, the business community and the mainstream  media appear willing to give the B.C. Liberals the benefit of the doubt.

I wonder what one of the province's leading businessmen, Glen Clark, thinks about this double standard.



Evil Eye

May 27, 2009 at 11:03am

Yes Charlie, where are the screams of "fudgit budget' repeated so often in the media when Glenn was prem.?

BC's BS meter is off the scale with Gordo's band of confidence tricksters and is it only voters in Delta South who can smell a rat?

BC's real deficit is about 4 times what was predicted and not a raspberry from the media, how bloody pathetic.

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May 27, 2009 at 10:18pm

I agree completely, but is anyone really surprised? You see the same thing in other countries where right wing governments run huge deficits from time to time without a peep from the business leadership or the commercial mass media. A centrist or leftist administration running a deficit half as big would be furiously denounced, and a large percentage of the electorate happily goes along with this stuff, even when the obvious contradiction is explicitly pointed out.

Rod Smelser

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May 28, 2009 at 2:37am

We all know for a fact that government budget will be a big help to restore the normal growth of the economy, it will boost the economy through various investments. Investment means revenue consequently will provide a lot of employment opportunities within the region. However due to recession there are some cutbacks on government spending, it is a way to reduce the cost while the government doesn’t have enough funds for today, some businesses suffer. And now here’s another issue that create anxiety among people, the K Street project. It sounds kind of almost disturbing. The K Street Project, named for K Street in Washington D.C., is a foundation of Republicans that seek to get most, if not all, lobbying firms to hire mostly registered Republicans to work as lobbyists. A lot of special interest groups have been put under pressure to hire Republicans over Democrats, in their quest for majority power and instant cash – mostly enormous tax breaks to the richest 1% of Americans and nothing for people who really need it. The K Street Project has several high profile neo-conservatives tied to it, such as the disgraced former Representative Tom DeLay. Some would give faxless payday loans to make the <a rev="vote for" title="K Street Project | Giving the Lobbyists a Beat-Down" href="http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/05/22/k-street-project-lobb... Street Project</strong></a> go away.

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Jun 1, 2009 at 11:56am

I love reading the Straight, if only for how ridiculously left wing it is, eh comrades?

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Jun 2, 2009 at 6:54pm

I don't see a large part of the public going along with it and the main stream media should not be using its powers to distort the press, its unethical and . Thats just wrong on so many levels as it boils down to entertainment. And it wasn't very entertaining as obviously 50% of voters stayed at home. So tweaking the stories and broadcast news to read the the way you want it is okay? Since the Liberals have gotten in media has failed to report on government concerns and relevant issues that fail to make the news. As its core to Democracy something the media, and the business community and Liberals feel we can all do without. As we wouldn't want anything get in the way of business like credit or journalist would we? The fall of journalism is indeed, journalist' fault. As all the opportunities exist for a new relationship with new media and new realationship with the public. Is it the journalist fault squandered public trust as they fail to give adequate stewardship to journalism leaving business to the business people. And this is a company on its last leg?

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Jun 2, 2009 at 8:18pm

How about professionalism in the media noting that journalists in these media ”˜had long lost their voices.’

Whats getting published in the media are not voices of journalists. Those are voices of politicians.

I'm for the abolition of government ministries that control media.

The media is a monopoly and its role is to represent the interests of the ruling class and to manipulate the majority as governments use the headlines to achieve geopolitical goals that have nothing to do with human rights and democracy. And everything to do with who gets to control the oil , mining concessions and vast tracts of fertile land in the country along with taxes and coporate handouts and regulations and laws and holdings.

Campbell says he is taking a have not province and turning it into a have a deficit province is more the reality. So its safe to say British Columbians have a big debt, just how much its more a have to wait and see until it comes out in the press.
He who controls the media, controls the propaganda.

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Feb 19, 2014 at 2:13am

Budgets finding help to keep the things in better mood.

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