B.C. deficit forecast tops $3 billion

Falling revenues have pushed B.C.'s deficit forecast above $3 billion, due to

Finance Minister Kevin Falcon

VICTORIA – Expected revenues to the B.C. government fell by $303 million in the second quarter of the fiscal year, due mainly to instability around the world, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced Monday.

The drop in revenues will make it more difficult to meet the government’s target of balancing the budget by 2013. Falcon said he will wait until January, when the finance ministry has to finalize its next budget, to see if that target can still be met.

Coupled with a $30 million jump in spending, the latest figures bring the deficit forecast for the year fiscal year ending next March to $3.1 billion.

In a quarterly briefing to reporters, Falcon also confirmed that it will take until the spring of 2012 to reverse the harmonized sales tax.

The largest revenue dip is $146 million less in net income from commercial Crown corporations. The largest factor there was a drop in Insurance Corp. of B.C. revenues, where investment income fell because of instability in the European Union. Falcon said insurance companies around the world have seen investments “hammered” by the the struggles to keep Greece, Italy and other countries from defaulting on debt.

Low prices from a glut of natural gas supplies have reduced B.C. revenues, and the continued slump in U.S. housing has affected forestry revenues.

On the spending side, Falcon said the B.C. government has trimmed operating expenses by $20 million this year. But that was offset by $30 million in costs related to flooding that mainly hit northern B.C. this spring.

Just Posted

North Island students release salmon fry

180 students from kindergarten to grade seven partipcated in the program

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Port McNeill gets yarn bombed

Colourful crochet creations pop up all over town

Port Hardy Council approves construction of the Multiplex project

Goahead given to “phase one” of the process

Pacific Coastal Airlines in the hot seat at council meeting

Boothroyd noted Pacific Coastal Airlines “Give is larger than the size of our footprint.”

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Mount Washington skier defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

Most Read