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

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

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

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Shag Creek area under evacuation order, area expanded

93 properties are being told to evacuate immediately

B.C. Wildfires 2018: Thousands prepare to leave their homes at a moment’s notice

Northwest B.C. and Cariboo seeing most fire activity in province as crews battle 490 fires

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read