Were your ears burning on the morning of Sept. 27? Well, if they weren’t they should have been. All British Columbians ears should have been. It was at this time in front of a group of reporters at the UBCM conference that NDP leader Adrian Dix admitted that he would likely rescind the current legislation that mandates balanced budgets in favour of a process in which the economics of the province determine whether a budget is balanced or not.
On the surface, this statement could seem innocent but it is not. This statement is confirmation that the NDP will spend and borrow if elected. Rather than taking an approach where governments try to match spending to revenues it looks like this government will simply spend and leave the problem to those who follow.
Does this sound familiar? It should because it is this mentality south of the border that has provided British Columbians with a certain smugness and sense of superiority. We have spent the last four years proclaiming that the rampant increase in debt that the U.S. has seen could never happen to us. We are a province rich with resources, the land of plenty.
We all know this is a dangerous stance to take. All it takes is a dip in commodity pricing and we are in trouble. What we sometimes forget is that we currently have an AAA credit rating and are looked upon as being a fiscally responsible province because of the hard decisions the Liberal government has made over the last decade.
Imagine the financial mess that will ensue should we vote to have Dix, a self-proclaimed spender, in charge of the province’s economy. Actually come to think of it, we don’t have to imagine it, we simply have to look to our neighbours to the south or better yet, the NDP’s record in the 1990s. Don’t forget — Dix was Glen Clark’s chief of staff from 1996 to 1999.
KAREN A. WATT