Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Finance, Michael de Jong, welcomed His Excellency Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, to British Columbia. The two leaders discussed new opportunities to grow the strong cultural and commercial ties between India and B.C.
Scoring a hat-trick of its own, the province of B.C. has managed to balance the books for the third year in a row. Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced on Tuesday that the third consecutive balanced budget will build toward a stronger and more diversified economy and delivers additional support to British Columbians who are most in need of support.
The balanced budget for 2015 forecasts a surplus of $879 million in 2014-15, and the government expects total revenue to hit $46.4 billion for 2015. Total expenses over the three-year plan is forecast at $45.8 billion.
Photo credit: screen grab from Minister’s announcement in Victoria.
As outlined by Minister de Jong, the budget provides room for modest investments that will strengthen and encourage growth in several key factions including economics, public services, and support networks for families in need.
In terms of strengthening economic growth across the province, key measures of the budget include continued tax credits, along with a $6.3 million in new base-budget funding to support B.C.’s mining industry, the implementation of the Water Sustainability Act, and the extension of the Digital Media Tax credit to 2018.
Chambers of Commerce from across the province congratulate the B.C. government for tabling a third consecutive balanced budget that combines continued fiscal discipline, including a specific focus on operating debt repayment, along with a number of targeted initiatives to support economic growth.
WireService.ca Media Release (02/17/2015) Abbotsford, BC - “During this time of on-going global economic uncertainty, it is important for government to continue to live within its means while finding affordable ways to drive our medium and long- term economic prosperity by enhancing our competitiveness and productivity,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “While not a flashy budget, government’s strong fiscal management is providing additional fiscal flexibility for future years. This flexibility is needed to help address top-tier challenges facing business – notably further skills development, tax competitiveness and other productivity issues.”
Budget 2015 forecasts an $879 million surplus for 2014/15, with a further surplus of $284 million in 2015/16. Budget 2015 includes an $800 million payment toward operating debt reduction. Budget 2015 also includes several modest initiatives that will support on-going economic development across the province, including: an extension to the BC Interactive Digital Media and the Mining Flow-Through Share tax credit measures, the expansion of the Digital Animation or Visual Effects tax credit to include post-production activities, a three-year extension of the BC Training Tax Credit, and an increase to the Small Business Venture Capital tax credit.
Abbotsford Chamber President Mike Welte was in Victoria for the budget presentation and commented, “the Chamber has consistently called on government to balance its books and we are pleased to see this on-going commitment to fiscal discipline. Budget 2015 does that by continuing to control spending while making modest investments into measures to help grow the economy,” said Welte. “British Columbians can take pride that we are the only jurisdictions in Canada to balance our budget and are seeing the benefit as government puts part of projected surpluses towards paying off our operating debt.”
The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is “The Voice of Business in BC.
The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce is a membership driven organization comprised of partnership with the business community, our mission is to represent, serve and connect our members to build and sustain a thriving business community in Abbotsford.
For further details, please contact:
Allan Asaph, Executive Director Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce 604-859-9651 (ext. 302) email@example.com
Original Story can be found at this link (http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=14839)
From The Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/what-keeps-bc-in-the-black-as-other-provinces-bleed-red/article22995565/)
B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong on Tuesday will table his third budget. Not entirely by coincidence, it will be the province’s third consecutive balanced budget. Mr. de Jong can rightly claim some bragging rights for this budget season, when most of the country is expected to be awash in red ink.
“Fiscally, we are the envy of virtually every other province,” he says. No false modesty here.
With the possible exception of Saskatchewan, which may yet eke out a surplus despite a hit on its oil-sector revenues, B.C. will be the only province that can coast along with modest growth, buffered from the collapse in oil prices that has kept some other finance ministers awake at night.
Alberta, which has relied on oil for one quarter of its revenues, is now staring down the barrel at deep spending cuts, higher taxes and a deficit after a $7-billion loss in revenue due to the six-month slide in oil prices.
Oil-dependent Newfoundland and Labrador, too, will face a fiscal crunch. Ontario can count on growth in the coming year, but still faces a long road to eliminate its $12.5-billion deficit.
Mr. de Jong takes credit for his province’s good fortune via policies that have supported expanded trade and years of restraint on the spending side.
“That’s a tribute to, I think, a couple of things: the diversification of our economy, the diversification of our markets and our fiscal discipline we’ve shown.” READ MORE
Michael was the feature speaker at the semi-annual gathering of staff of Abbotsford Community Services. ACS employs some 200 people to service the needs of our community.