Falcon would cut services and raise costs despite admitting BC’s finances are in “strong shape”

Last week, Kevin Falcon said that BC’s finances were “in pretty strong shape” and “we have, fortunately, a reasonable financial position.” He’s right: BC’s debt-to-GDP ratio is the third lowest in Canada.

But that hasn’t stopped him from suggesting he would cut services like hospitals and schools. In his response to the budget, he amped up rhetoric about spending – directly at odds with last week’s acknowledgment of BC’s strong fiscal position.

For years, Falcon and his MLAs have railed against hiring more people into the public sector to work in healthcare and social services. As Health Minister, Falcon cut 1,410 registered nurses and pushed health authorities into a $360 million shortfall, forcing them to make cuts that healthcare providers called “staggering” and “incomprehensible.”

As Finance Minister, he hiked MSP Premiums and ICBC rates while cutting capital funding for schools and hospitals – and he still failed to balance the budget.

Finance Minister Katrine Conroy in today’s Budget Speech:

“Some look at the challenges ahead and say government should respond with deep cuts, leaving people to fend for themselves. This would only weaken the services we all rely on and drive-up costs with added fees and fares. It would leave people at risk to those who take unfair advantage by putting profits ahead of people. But our government won’t leave people behind to fend for themselves. We have your back.”