Westward Independent

Marina Sapozhnikov – Conservative Candidate: NDP’s Provincial Debt

by Westward Independent
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In 2023, the NDP government in BC achieved a new record for the highest provincial budget deficit in history. The money spent in 2023 was even greater than in 2021 through the Covid pandemic.

The greatest source of government spending is public-sector employees. Right next to it is the interest on existing debt. According to auditor-general Michael Pickup, BC has failed to meet Canadian accounting standards for the last 16 years.

The negative effects of this debt increase will be felt immediately as increased interest costs. In 2022/23, the NDP government spent $2.7 billion on debt interest. With the government’s projected 2024 deficit, taxpayers will now spend $4.1 billion on interest costs this year.
The net debt will increase from $10,288 per person in 2016/17 to a projected $21,040 per person in 2026/27. This makes life unaffordable in BC and people are leaving.

According to the Fraser Institute Report, “B.C.’s large deficits and rapid debt growth are the result of rapid spending increases in recent years. In fact, if the Horgan and Eby governments had not increased the rates of spending during their time in office, the provincial debt burden would be declining…rather than rising”.

However, despite the already dire economic situation, the NDP Government shows no intention to curb spending. The examples are plentiful. Between 2020 and 2023, NDP MLA Spenser Chandra Herbert alone spent $70,000 on helicopter trips between his home and his riding, even when the government was not in session. BC United MLA Michael Lee spent almost $90,000 in 3 years on travel. Both of them were commuting between Vancouver Island and Vancouver, where much less expensive options, such as the BC Ferry service, are readily available.

Another egregious example of the NDP Government’s spending is its commitment to the failed policy of “safer” supply. In November of 2023, 4265 people were prescribed opioids under the 184-million-dollar program. This funding could be better spent on creating more treatment beds and prevention programs, saving lives and keeping children from being exposed to drugs.

It may sound surprising to many, but residents of our community indirectly pay to feed the elk. When elk destroy the hay crops, farmers are compensated to replace the hay they need for their livestock. The common-sense solution would be fencing the fields and paying for it once, rather than reimbursing farmers every year and worsening hay shortages and shipping the hay from the mainland, creating more emissions, and ending up in higher food prices.

Another example of reckless spending, which is relevant to our community is NDP’s allocation of $1.5 million to flood the prime farmland in Cowichan Bay estuary. This is not even talking about the serious environmental concerns, threatening the food supply and risk of salt water intrusion into our drinking water supply. This project has been spearheaded by the NGO Nature Trust. The Minister of Agriculture Pam Alexis, when questioned by BC Conservatives Leader John Rustad, had no recollection of signing off on spending this money.

Reversing this downward spiral is possible and the BC Conservatives are determined to do just that. We are clear on our priorities to reduce spending and balance the budget.
The plain and simple common sense would suggest that the budget surplus should be directed to pay the debt and reduce taxes, which could then go back into the economy.

All existing programs should undergo a mandatory test of necessity before the continuation of their funding.
BC Conservatives support fair competition for government contracts based on free market principles.
Digging the province out of the NDP-created financial abyss will not be easy but it is possible if we have the political will and the courage to face reality.

We must break this vicious cycle of spending and borrowing and learn how to live within our means. We all know how to do it. It is time to elect a Government that knows as well.

Find more information via: https://www.conservativebc.ca/marina


*Paid article
Authorized by Dave Larocque,
Financial Agent, davelaro@shaw.ca

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