REALITY CHECK: Christy Clark: Record Deficit and Putting Families Last

Posted in:

Christy Clark claims her “tough decisions” helped balance the budgets when she sat at the cabinet table and on the treasury board. But the truth is the budgets weren’t so balanced, and those “tough decisions” hurt British Columbian families.

The Claim

  • “As deputy premier and vice-chair of Treasury Board in this government’s first term, I was part of a lot of tough decisions. I want to return to those prudent, conservative, business-like principles and ensure that balanced budgets are the norm.” (Christy Clark, B.C. leadership campaign press release, Feb. 7, 2011)

The Truth

  • British Columbia’s biggest deficit in history ($2.6 billion in 2002-03) occurred while Christy Clark was the deputy premier and deputy chair of the treasury board.
  • While Clark says she is the B.C. Liberal leadership hopeful that is “putting families first”, she also says she wants to return to the old B.C. Liberal first-term way of doing things– a time when the B.C. Liberals cut long-term care beds for seniors, axed before and after school care and increased fees for medical service premiums and pharmacare.
  • In 2003, the budget for the Ministry of Children and Family Development was cut by 11 per cent. In an independent review of child deaths in B.C., former judge Tedtook the knife too far…I just think they were wrong.” Hughes would later cite organizational changes coupled with deep budget cuts as contributing toward chaos within the ministry responsible for protecting children. Upon releasing his review, Hughes said the B.C. Liberals “
  • As Minister of Education, Clark forced through changes to the school funding formula that have led to the closure of well over 100 schools.

The New Democrat vision for a strong, dynamic economy includes a fair and competitive tax environment, support for small business, fiscal responsibility, a fair minimum wage with predictable increases, and investment in green jobs to diversify our economic base.