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

Agassiz’s Dickens Tea sells out for seventh year

The annual holiday event saw visitors enjoy high tea and historic talks

No defence witnesses in trial of man charged in killing of Abbotsford student

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

Agassiz Fire Department collects nearly 5,000 pounds of food for food bank

The annual food drive took place in the evening on Dec. 5

HISTORY: A curious commmunity connection between Agassiz and Pelham, Ont.

History columnist Lindsay Foreman shares her most recent story about how small Canada really is

Chilliwack condo sales up 153%

Year-over-year increase points to first-time homebuyers

VIDEO: Harrison lights up for the holidays

The second annual Lights by the Lake kicked off Saturday, Nov. 23

Vancouver Giants fall to Spokane Chiefs

‘We are just having a tough time scoring right now’

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

Don’t expect extra bus service during impending SkyTrain strike, CMBC says

Full SkyTrain shutdown is scheduled to start Tuesday morning

Surrey getting a new hospital, in Cloverdale

Premier John Horgan said the ‘brand new hospital’ will be built near Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Operation Red Nose Surrey-Langley could close for rest of season due to lack of volunteers

Organizers say they are struggling to keep up with high call numbers and long wait times

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read