B.C. deficit doesn’t deter Liberals from inflating ad budget

It’s staggering to consider what the B.C. government could do with $64 million.

It’s staggering to consider what the B.C. government could do with $64 million.

In Sicamous alone, that money could be used to help fund a badly needed upgrade to the municipality’s water treatment centre. It would  also easily cover the cost of repairing damage to the Red Barn Arts Centre incurred during the summer flooding.

Of course, that money would be an effective anti-inflammatory to the province’s swelling deficit. According to B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong, British Columbians can expect the deficit to reach $1.47 billion. Although, De Jong and Premier Christy Clark say they can have things back in the black by 2013 – perhaps even by the May election? (Nudge nudge, wink wink.)

Instead of these or other projects that might have a tangible, positive impact on the lives of British Columbians, $64 million, or close to it, represents the BC Liberal government’s advertising budget over the two years Clark has served as premier. This is according to a recent piece by political columnist Vaughn Palmer.

Included in this is the province’s $5 million attempt to sell the HST, and millions more promoting the so-called BC Jobs Plan. This includes a $15 million campaign focused on skill training and jobs, and $11 million in contingency, with no specifics on how it will be spent.

Granted, there may be some positive outcomes from all of this spending on TV, radio and newsprint ads. But, as critics rightly point out, these are your tax dollars that the government is spending on what essentially amounts to self-aggrandizing propaganda leading up to the May 2013 provincial election. And it is being spent at a time when Clark and company is repeatedly insisting there is no money to be had (a mantra of ministry reps at this year’s Union of BC Municipalities convention), while enforcing a “net-zero” policy on public-sector workers seeking any semblance of a wage increase.

Palmer notes $64 million is double what the government spends annually on parks, three times what it spends on arts, culture and sports, and “half as much again” as what it spends on crime prevention.

 

Just Posted

Complex-care facility adds 60 long-term care beds

Mount Ida Mews hosts grand opening of second phase in Salmon Arm

UPDATE: One dead after crash on Highway 97A near Armstrong

Police have confirmed that one person is dead following an accident on Highway 97A Friday

Multi-vehicle collision slows traffic on Highway 1

Trans-Canada Highway reduced to single lane between Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Music program discord attributed to lack of oversight

North-Okanagan-Shuswap schools struggle to retain musical excellence amidst many challenges

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

Site has had no movement for the past eight days

No gas in Okanagan town as lone station closed for renovations

Falkland’s Petro Canada will remain closed for renovations until March 1

Developer makes an effort to help Okanagan students left homeless after flood

U-Two developer is making an effort to help university students who were left in a lurch

Most Read