Premier promises balanced budget in 2013

British Columbia created 46,000 new jobs and increased trade with China by 25% since its Jobs Plan was launched more than a year ago, Premier ...

British Columbia created 46,000 new jobs and increased trade with China by 25% since its Jobs Plan was launched more than a year ago, Premier Christy Clark said in an election-style lunch speech Tuesday before the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce.

In her speech, Clark promised her government will obey its own balanced budget legislation in 2013 – something it hasn’t done since 2008. NDP Leader Adrian Dix has promised to scrap the balanced budget legislation, if his party forms government five and a half months from now.

“Our goal is to balance the budget in this coming year,” Clark told chamber members. “I will not leave this province with an unbalanced budget and I will not reach into your pocket for more money.”

Clark credited her government’s Jobs Plan for creating an economic environment that will allow the government to balance the budget without resorting to tax hikes.

“We are on the right track because we are following the plan we set out for our province,” Clark said.

Clark said most of the 46,000 net new jobs created since the Jobs Plan’s launch in September 2011 are full-time positions.

“There are $80 billion of projects underway in British Columbia in just the last year,” Clark said.

Clark’s speech may have stolen some of Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s thunder. De Jong was scheduled to talk about the B.C. government’s second quarterly financial report today.

nbennett@biv.com

@nbennett_biv

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