Public Affairs Update Header
December 3, 2012
In This Issue
BC Finance Minister Releases Second Quarterly Report
BC Federation of Labour Endorses BC NDP
BC to Host First LNG International Conference

The Public Affairs Update is your weekly insight, perspective and analysis on politics in British Columbia and Canada.  This newsletter is brought to you by the largest, and most broadly-based business organization in the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce – the Voice of Business in BC.


BC Finance Minister Releases Second Quarterly Report

BC Minister of Finance Hon. Mike de Jong released the province’s Second Quarterly Report last week. Outlining the state of the provincial treasury, the Report indicates that overall revenue from the First Quarterly Report is down by $202 million. The report also highlights:


  • The projected deficit for 2012-13 is $1.47 billion, a $328-million increase from the First Quarterly Report due primarily to the change in the completion date of the sale of the Little Mountain property;
  • Ministries continue to reduce discretionary spending to mitigate the $241-million impact of the natural gas market on revenues. The province has identified $176 million so far this year and is on target to find the remaining $65 million required, including through savings in government operations such as travel and discretionary spending, freezing salaries for public sector management, and continuing the public service hiring freeze;
  • BC will maintain a forecast allowance of $100 million as a buffer against future economic and fiscal risks-this allowance has been reduced $50 million from the First Quarterly Report; and,
  • BC remains on track for re-implementation of the PST on April 1, 2013, with all previously permanent exemptions in place.

Minister de Jong indicated that he is confident he will be able to balance the budget by February 2013.

BC Federation of Labour Endorses BC NDP

At their bi-annual convention in Vancouver last week, the BC Federation of Labour (BCFL) pledged ‘mass mobilization’ on behalf of the BC NDP in the upcoming May election.


Approximately 1500 BCFL delegates voted unanimously for a political action plan that committed the organization of about 450,000 members to mobilize to help elect a New Democratic government in 2013.


BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix addressed the delegate crowd of approximately 1500 on Wednesday. In his keynote speech, he spoke to two issues of priority to the BCFL: employment standards and apprenticeship training. He pledged that an NDP government, if elected, would make significant improvements in both areas.


BC to Host First LNG International Conference

Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Hon. Rich Coleman has announced that BC will host Fueling the Future: Global Opportunities for LNG in BC, Canada’s first international conference focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Fueling the Future will be held February 25-26, 2013 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.


The Province of British Columbia and natural gas LNG proponents will join First Nations leaders, local governments, learning institutions, global investors, and domestic and international consumers to discuss the status of BC’s LNG industry.


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This weekly report produced for the BC Chamber of Commerce by Fleishman-Hillard.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information included in this publication as of the date of issue, events and government policies are subject to frequent change.  Therefore, the BC Chamber of Commerce and Fleishman-Hillard cannot assume any responsibility for actions taken solely or principally on the basis on the information contained herein.