Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The BC Budget Speech We Never Heard from Finance Minister Mike de Jong

What if Finance Minister Mike de Jong was injected with truth serum before his budget speech? 
BC Finance Minister Mike de Jong demonstrates skating on thin ice
Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours/The Tyee column
Tuesday February 19, 2013
By Bill TIeleman
"Honesty: the best of all the lost arts."
- Mark Twain
Perhaps if BC Liberal Finance Minister Mike de Jong were secretly injected with truth serum before presenting today's government's budget speech in the legislature, it would come out like this:
"Honourable Speaker, I rise to deliver not just the budget but also an honest apology -- because our BC Liberal government has truly put British Columbia in a financial mess.
"House rules prohibit the word 'lie,' so I'll just say our government has been 'economical with the truth' on B.C.'s finances.
"Look at then-premier Gordon Campbell's pre-election statement in April 2009: 'I can tell you this -- the deficit for 2009-2010 will be $495 million maximum.'
"It ended up at $1.8 billion, the worst fudge-it budget in B.C. history. Whoops!
"Of course, by Sept. 2009 then-finance minister Colin Hansen expected the deficit would be $2.8 billion! Whoops!
"And it eventually ended up at $1.8 billion, the worst fudge-it budget in B.C. history. Whoops again!
"That's why we panicked and introduced the Harmonized Sales Tax -- a third whoops! -- with more disastrous consequences that made Campbell a 'tax exile' in England!
"So I don't dare say this budget is balanced. Because it is not. And other than with blatant trickery, how could it be?
"Just look at BC Hydro alone.
"Deferral accounts. BC Hydro has 'deferred' debts worth $4.5 billion by next year; an exercise in creative bookkeeping that means this Crown corporation is practically Nortel.
"B.C.'s independent Auditor General John Doyle -- the guy we just turfed -- said in 2011 that B.C.'s annual deficit would be $447 million greater if we properly accounted for Hydro's debts -- so we didn't.
"Independent Power Producers. We owe them almost $59 billion for buying their private power through 30-year contracts at prices up to dozens of times the current price of BC Hydro's dam power or the spot market.
"And we could have done it ourselves through public power projects for a fraction of that cost, but we banned BC Hydro from doing so instead in order to privatize power.
"So we tendered for IPP contracts at $124 per megawatt hour when power readily available on the market was priced at between about $4 and $52. Rates for consumers are going up over 16 per cent in just three years as a result.
"Smart meters. One of our dumbest decisions. We not only alienated BC Hydro consumers who aren't convinced smart meters are safe, but we blew $1 billion on a project that will add about eight per cent to your bills.
"But hey, a lot of BC Liberal insiders and friends got a bunch of profitable work out of smart meters -- and that's why we're in 'power'!
"But BC Hydro is just one of our many financial problems. We're doubling B.C.'s provincial debt from $33.8 billion in 2001 to $66.3 billion by 2015.
"The BC Liberal approach to budgeting is simple. We pay off one credit card debt with another credit card!
"And we are also planning to dump hundreds of millions worth of provincial assets in a desperate going out of business sale just to help balance this year's budget -- a plan that will sell land, buildings and more for a fraction of it's true value -- just to raise enough chump change to claim the budget is balanced.
"But here's the reality. I just can't do this. I won't be the author of British Columbia's financial downfall. I will be voting against my own budget and I urge every MLA to do the same.
"It's time someone told the truth about B.C.'s finances and I just did."
Unlikely speech? More like impossible, but the numbers don't lie.



DPL said...

The BS keeps coming from the BC Liberals. Best way to stop it is to dump them from government

Bullshit Shoveller of B.C. said...

If we keep the lieberals in power they will be selling B.C. to Alberta, they have sold every thing in the province thats not bolted down. Kind of reminds me of the lazy kid taking the family jewels to the pawn shop, so he can live the high life at his parents expence. Then this budget they say is balanced reminds me of wimpys old saying { gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today}and no Rich Coleman this remark wasn t directed at you.

Anonymous said...

Dump the BC Liberals from government and then put up with the BS from the NDP.

and what kind of an idiot kid would take the family jewels to a pawn shop? The return for saleable value that a person gets from a pawnshop on good put down on the counter is legalized robbery. People should be smarter than to use a pawnshop for quick money.

Put the damb things on EBay.

Anonymous said...

We have idiots running this province,more idiots voting for them and even more idiots letting it happen. At least in the tinpot banana republics when people get pissed off enough they grab some guns and shoot the place up for awhile, in BC we put our asses in the air and get ready to take it again.


Anonymous said...

Guess the previous poster is included in his ass in the air commentary.

No butts about it.

e.a.f. said...

It really is too bad some of the lieberals don't get up and vote against this budget. it might be their only act of integrity since taking office but at least they might be able to say, they did the right thing at the end.

selling BC assets now will only result in the friends and associates of the lieberals having one more crack at the vault.

Anonymous said...

The vote hasn't been brought forward yet.

But the NDP won't be any different. They'll have a deficit budget. They're promising too much already.

But as far as friends and insiders go, wait for the NDP ones to line up.

Be here when it happens.

Anonymous said...

I believe if the NDP don't get out and take this record of the Liberals mismanagement to the people of B.C. they are going to be the losers again... it's time to say what they would do. I had planned on voting for the NDP but Dix makes me nervous. If we don't get some serious communication from this party I and many others will look for an independent. I think if we elected more independents we could have a different agenda.. maybe a better one. Come on NDP you'd better start rowing.. because it's going to be a rough ride from this corrupt bunch of Liberals.

Anonymous said...

NDP takes the record of the Liberal's mismanagement to the people of B.C.?

Way too easy. Everyone knows the mismanagement of B.C. by the BC Liberals so why spin that wheel?

There's also an element of hypocrisy. The NDP sold off assets when they were in power so why the
song and dance over selling assets by the BC Liberals? Simply because they are doing it? The NDP had

Better have the NDP tell people what it is they want to do for B.C. and how much it's going to cost.

That's what people will want to know. Not an easy to do reminder of what the BC Liberals did.

We already know what they did.

What's the NDP going to do?

Bullshit Shoveller of B.C. said...

Just wanted to know what assets the NDP sold when they were in power. I have a short memory so please refresh it if you don t mind. You seem to know, if you don t respond we will understand. If you were refering to privitizing of every thing, that was done by the other lieberal party the Socreds.

Anonymous said...

Why should Dix hang the BC Liberals? They are doing a great job, hanging themselves.

Campbell's first election lie, the HST wasn't on his radar. What happened to the priceless Real Estate, that went with the BCR?

Campbell's second election lie, the HST wasn't on his radar.

Many of the BC Liberal Ministers, that were around in Campbell's reign of terror, are still here to-day. Not one of them lifted a finger, to stop any of Campbell's treachery.

Dix will lay his cards on the table, when the time is right. Dix has a very strong team.

Christy and her team, leave me angry and edgy. I can't forget Campbell's underhanded tactics, to force the HST onto us. Nor, his underhanded tactics, to fight to keep the HST. Christy called us the Taliban. Well, this Taliban will not give Christy my vote.

Anonymous said...

"Reign of Terror"?? That's a bit much.

Exactly when did Christy Clark attribute the BCNDP as being "Taliban"? Date? Cite?

Check your voter registration and then get out there and vote.

Anonymous said...

I don't have enough fingers to count how many time Chrispy has mentioned "socialism" and "Sinclair" amongst the dozens of hate filled comment her party and Liberal shills have spewed.
I am sure NW will welcome her back with open arms amd wallet.

Anonymous said...

"They're promising too much already."
And what exactly have they promised?
Be here when you explain it.

Anonymous said...

The NDP is technically a democratic socialist party (it's in their constitution), and Sinclair is perpetually smiling.

Christy isn't going to be going back to NW. Guaranteed.

Would be nice if the NDP delivered on their promise to deliver a live feed that actually worked.

This one today didn't.

But change will come. One step at a time in getting it to work.

Anonymous said...

Will the Liberals be taking another 750 million dollars from ICBC a crown corporation.? Under right wing management they too were corrupt.There seems to be no end to how corrupt a right wing political party can get. Are these the actions of psychopaths? .