Helen Keller told us that, Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Your BC Liberal government has never been more confident and optimistic about the future of British Columbia.
When we were elected by British Columbians in 2001, we inherited the New Democratic Party (NDP) financial disaster. This included a $3.8 billion structural deficit and a province that had been plagued by NDP fudge-it budgets (where the NDP would offer millions in surpluses in pre-election promises knowing that there would actually be millions of dollars in deficit after the election).
Also included was a national last-place ranking for the province in private sector job creation, along with the highest unemployment rate of all the Western provinces. This was a province where disposable income dropped every year between 1991 and 2000; a province with a bankruptcy rate 25 per cent above the national average; a province whos citizens were fleeing by the tens of thousands to other places for better opportunities; a province that suffered through eight consecutive deficit budgets, doubling the provincial debt; and a province that had the worst fiscal record in Canada.
In the face of these mounting catastrophes, the people of British Columbia expressed their optimism and confidence for a better future and elected the BC Liberal Party. So, did we do it? You bet we did!
We balanced the budget every year between 2004 and 2008, and used our record surpluses to pay down debt, making the largest single debt pay-down in B.C. history in 2004/5 of $1.9 billion.
We built this province back into a have province, with seven consecutive credit upgrades saving tax payers tens of millions that would have otherwise gone to higher interest payments.
We re-established our AAA credit rating status, putting us in an elite class not only in our country, but our continent and the world. We continue to put families first by keeping taxes low with the lowest provincial personal taxes in Canada along with increases of 22 per cent in real disposable income between 2001 and 2012.
Today B.C. is second only to Alberta in total percentage of job growth. Since 2001, the BC Liberal Party added over 430,000 jobs, 75 per cent of which are full-time. Our B.C. Jobs Plan is working!
There are those like Norm Macdonald who will tell you that our current provincial financial situation has never been more dire and will also try to tell you that you are worse off than you have ever been. Truthfully, he and those of his ilk are wrong.
B.C. families count on their government to live within its means and your current government is committed to continuing to do just that. In spite of the world economic woes, our future together has never looked more optimistic or hopeful.
BC Liberal candidate,
Columbia River-Revelstoke Riding