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

South Shuswap residents kick waste collection concept to the curb

Area C residents prefer existing depot system, suggest more enforcement

Province attempting to ease concerns over caribou management

CSRD receives letter promising more consultation while chambers of commerce meet with minister

High-flying ‘Canadian Sasquatch’ spotted in Salmon Arm

Bruce Jones enjoys showing champion belt while volunteering at community events

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and cloud, chance of showers

Environment Canada is calling for a sunny weekend across the Okanagan

Memorial skateboard competition request rolling to Salmon Arm council

September event to be in honour of Josh Hunter who passed away in 2018

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Battle of blacksmiths returns to Okanagan vineyard

A battle of blacksmiths is returning for its second year in Lake Country

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Health: Living longer, a myth?

A new column to Black Press from CHIP HealthLine Solutions

Memorial plaques stolen from Okanagan cemetery

Four plaques were stolen from Lakeview Memorial Gardens in Kelowna

Sustainable farming summit coming to the Okanagan

Kelowna will soon host a summit on how the food industry can reduce its climate impact

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UBC Okanagan professor details wildfire risks

Associate professor David Scott provides details for the Okanagan’s wildfire season

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Most Read