It wasn't all that long ago that Premier Campbell had a little fun at the expense of the NDP, stirring the Liberal troops to action with his thoughts and accompanying sound effects that the NDP policies were lost in the days of the past. Suggesting danger would come in the form of any flirtation with an NDP government.
However, one should always be careful what one may find posted on YouTube.... because fast changing current events can make sometimes turn yesterday's funny props around on you..
From the party that promised a solemn vow for no more deficit financing, comes word today that uh, hmmm, er, well, hey guess what, we might need some deficit financing after all!
Finance Minister Colin Hansen and Premier Campbell hosted an unexpected press conference outlining the state of the province's finances, the impact of the global economic turmoil on them and their remedy for troubled times, two years of consecutive deficits.
The Premier will recall the legislature next week (guess maybe he should have just had that winter session after all) to introduce legislation to allow for the move to run two years of deficit budgets to meet the challenges of the economic troubles of these times.
The Premier outlined how the fast changing economic picture has resulted in the need to abandon the balanced budget credo of his administration, stating that without a deficit budget hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts would be needed to many services that British Columbians rely on.
Opposition NDP leader Carole James is onside with the plans for deficit financing, but was highly critical of the Liberal government's late arrival at the financial planning table, suggesting that valuable time had been lost, with British Columbia families suffering in the interim until the Premier found himself with no other course of action.
In order to implement the plans for two years of deficits, the Liberals will have to suspend the 2001 Balanced Budget and Ministerial Accountability Act. That process begins on February 9th when the Legislature will reconvene, that will be followed by the Throne Speech of February 16 and a new budget the following day.
It's at that time the Liberals will reveal just how deep the deficit will be and what they plan on spending that money on. We suspect that it won't be quite the same jocular approach that was used at their recent convention, and we imagine there won't be a sound effect to be heard.
Vancouver Sun--British Columbia will run two-year deficit: premier
Vancouver Sun-- Campbell prepares to retreat on balanced-budget dogma
Vancouver Province-- B.C. headed into deficit
Vancouver Province-- Balanced provincial budget looking unlikely
Globe and Mail-- B.C. Premier exits 'deficit-free' zone
Georgia Straight-- B.C. premier Gordon Campbell to change no-deficit law for budget
Nanaimo Daily News-- B.C. to run two-year deficit; will cut executive ranks, travel, advertising, 'some' programs
CBC News-- B.C. will run deficit in 2009: finance minister
CFAX News-- BC NDP slams Liberals over news of budget deficits
Reuters-- British Columbia sees budget deficits for 2 years
CTV BC-- B.C. will run deficit budget for next two years