For the past few weeks, one of the top world stories on the morning news has been the economic disaster going on in Greece. Citizens of that country are in a panic and it’s playing out in violence in the streets.
On Tuesday the BC Liberals released their budget. Though we’re still a world away from the turmoil in Europe, it wouldn’t be a total stretch to say British Columbia is facing an economic crisis of its own. There is very little light in Finance Minister Kevin Falcon’s grim offering, unfortunately it’s a necessary document for what our immediate future holds.
In politics and the public purse, you get what you vote for in a democracy. In the case of British Columbia we have a fiscally conservative party running the show in Victoria. Though the road ahead for all British Columbians is going to be about as smooth as the drive up to Whitewater in March, we should take some comfort in having a government weary of exploding deficits.
This past summer, the majority of British Columbians voted down the HST. The return to the PST will rob provincial coffers of a half billion dollars. Analysts say the hardest hit will be those in the lower income. The will of the people spoke and now we must deal with the fallout.
Nobody will go untouched by this budget. Some ministries will be hit harder than others, but in the end everyone in this province will feel the pinch.
Over the last decade there has been some good times and relative comfort. Though it appeared we staved off much of the economic woes the rest of the planet has been battling, Tuesday was a reality check.
We are a long way from violence in the streets and there’s no need to panic, but the short term economic outline for this province is nothing to feel optimistic about. It’s time to tighten our belts and endure the pain.