B.C. deficit forecast tops $3 billion

Falling revenues have pushed B.C.'s deficit forecast above $3 billion, due to

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon

VICTORIA – Expected revenues to the B.C. government fell by $303 million in the second quarter of the fiscal year, due mainly to instability around the world, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced Monday.

The drop in revenues will make it more difficult to meet the government’s target of balancing the budget by 2013. Falcon said he will wait until January, when the finance ministry has to finalize its next budget, to see if that target can still be met.

Coupled with a $30 million jump in spending, the latest figures bring the deficit forecast for the year fiscal year ending next March to $3.1 billion.

In a quarterly briefing to reporters, Falcon also confirmed that it will take until the spring of 2012 to reverse the harmonized sales tax.

The largest revenue dip is $146 million less in net income from commercial Crown corporations. The largest factor there was a drop in Insurance Corp. of B.C. revenues, where investment income fell because of instability in the European Union. Falcon said insurance companies around the world have seen investments “hammered” by the the struggles to keep Greece, Italy and other countries from defaulting on debt.

Low prices from a glut of natural gas supplies have reduced B.C. revenues, and the continued slump in U.S. housing has affected forestry revenues.

On the spending side, Falcon said the B.C. government has trimmed operating expenses by $20 million this year. But that was offset by $30 million in costs related to flooding that mainly hit northern B.C. this spring.

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Volunteers sought for weed pull at Summit Lake Provincial Park

Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society is looking for help next week

UPDATE: Search for missing Cranbrook woman enters third day

The search for a Cranbrook woman missing in the Jumbo Pass area is entering its third day.

Search for missing Cranbrook woman ongoing

Louise Baxter missing in Jumbo Pass area since Sunday

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Most Read