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Board applauds deficit announcement, calls for continued spending restraint

July 26, 2012

The Vancouver Board of Trade welcomed yesterday’s announcement that the Province of British Columbia ended its fiscal year with a smaller deficit than forecasted.

According to figures released by Finance Minister Kevin Falcon, British Columbia recorded a deficit of $1.84 billion — $1.6 billion of which can be attributed to the repayment of HST transitional funding. Since the one-time HST repayment is non-recurring, Falcon said the Province is on track to eliminate the deficit and return to a balanced budget in 2013-14.

“The Board of Trade is pleased that the Province remains committed to prudent fiscal management over the coming year,” said Lori Mathison, chair of The Board of Trade’s Government Budget and Finance Committee.

“Economic conditions are still precarious around the globe. By practising diligence and restraint, our province has developed a reputation — both at home and abroad — as a safe place to invest. In today’s reality, that is no small feat.”

Vancouver Board of Trade Chair Ken Martin echoed Mathison’s comments and noted that B.C.’s economy grew 2.9 per cent in 2011 — exceeding the national average.

“These are positive indicators that our province will continue to weather the economic storm, which is excellent news for all British Columbians. However, given what is happening globally, we can’t afford to let our guard down when it comes to prudent fiscal management,” said Martin.

“The Vancouver Board of Trade has more than a dozen committees, with hundreds of volunteers, monitoring most aspects of life in B.C.,” Martin added. “We will continue to observe the actions of the provincial government, to ensure they are working in the best interests of the thousands of businesses we represent and the people of BC.”

To download the Province of British Columbia’s 2011-12 Public Accounts, visit the Ministry of Finance official website.

For media requests, please contact Greg Hoekstra, communications officer for The Vancouver Board of Trade, at 604-640-5450 or ghoekstra@boardoftrade.com.

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