B.C. endorses Ottawa’s balanced budget

Ottawa's tax cuts cost B.C. treasury too; Industry Minister James Moore defends Coast Guard changes for West Coast

Industry Minister James Moore (left) and B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong

VICTORIA – The federal government has joined B.C. in the balanced budget club, but it comes at a cost to provincial revenues.

Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivered his first budget Tuesday, featuring increased defence spending and a new public transit fund that wouldn’t take effect until after the federal election scheduled for this fall.

B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong said changes in the federal budget such as reducing small business tax and allowing personal income splitting for couples have a flow-through effect on provincial revenues. That could be between $18 million and $30 million to B.C., he said.

De Jong said the B.C. government supports the reduction in federal small business tax rate, which is to decline from 11 to nine per cent by 2019.

A new federal fund to help pay for transit doesn’t take effect until 2017, but de Jong said he expects current federal infrastructure programs to continue until then.

Federal Industry Minister James Moore said the Conservative government is still distributing funds from the $70 billion infrastructure fund that was included in last year’s budget, and the new fund is in response to cities’ demands.

The mayors of Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and the national and provincial municipal associations have all endorsed the budget, Moore said.

B.C. NDP finance critic Carole James said the federal budget seems to have missed B.C. priorities, and it was frustrating to see Ottawa balance its books on the same day as the Canadian Coast Guard closed another West Coast facility.

The Coast Guard’s marine communications and traffic centre at Ucluelet is closed, with the function transferred to Prince Rupert. A similar station in Vancouver is to close May 6, with traffic monitored from Victoria, and another monitoring station at Comox is set to close this year, according to Unifor, the union representing Coast Guard employees.

Moore said the rationalization and modernization of ship tracking systems on the West Coast will improve safety, and has already been done on the East Coast.

Business Council of B.C. president Greg D’Avignon said balancing the national budget, investing in transit and providing investment incentives for industries such as liquefied natural gas and forestry will help offset the effects of a slump in oil prices and weak commodity markets.

 

Just Posted

Poutine With Purpose Pub Crawl supports local charity

Enjoy a pub favourite while helping to feed local kids

Cloudy skies ahead for Thursday

Plus a look ahead at your weekend

Hundreds gather at fundraising kickoff for ‘Kings Park’ purchase

Campaign to raise $2.75 million for the District of Saanich underway

Spooky meets retro at the Victoria Vintage Halloween Fair

It’s never to early to start planning your costume

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read