Rob Shaw: B.C.’s fiscal update projects deficit dip but does not include flood, mudslide costs


British Columbia’s finance minister says the province’s economy was on track toward a strong economic rebound in its latest financial results to the end of September, but uncertainties remain, especially stemming from the damage caused by recent floods and mudslides.

Selina Robinson says the province will factor in the cleanup costs associated with the disastrous floods and mudslides that hit communities, highways and railways in February’s budget.

“By putting people first, while being nimble and responsive to the challenges the pandemic has introduced, we’re continuing to see positive effects in our financial outlook and our economy,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “That approach has helped to support people and businesses through the challenges we have seen so far, while putting us in a good place to be able to continue to provide the supports needed by those affected by the recent disaster.”

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth hasn’t been able to provide an estimate on last week’s damage other than to say it would be a huge cost for the province.

Robinson says the fiscal update shows an improved outlook for the province, with the deficit projected at $1.7 billion for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

That’s down from a previous projection from the First Quarterly Report of $4.8 billion.

As previously reflected in the first quarter, the reduced deficit is primarily attributed to higher-than-expected revenue from personal and corporate income taxes, increased activity in the retail and housing sectors, strong resource revenues and commercial Crown net income, while expenses remained stable.

She says revenues have also increased by more than $3 billion in recent months.

Rob ShawRob Shaw

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