Heartlands depopulation continues!

Former cabinet minister Paul Ramsey, who has been a Prince George resident for more than 30 years, is moving to warmer climes. In an interview, Mr. Ramsey, who is currently co-chairing the provincial New Democrat's platform committee, confirmed he and his wife purchased a 2,000 square foot house in Saanich about seven months ago. They'll be taking up permanent occupancy in April. When asked whether the purchase was in preparation for helping out a possible New Democrat government, Mr. Ramsey quipped, "It's in preparation for the rest of our lives. We both turn 60 this year. And so we thought it was time to live a life where we worked a little less...And if we're not working, it might be nice to be a bit closer to the kids."

17 Comments

Perhaps we will not see amalgamation of Sannich into a capital region of Victoria since the tax burden may touch Mr.R's pocket of er.. heaven.
Oh that would never happen?

I've always thought Paul was under-rated as a finance minister. They look like the good old days now: 1999 - 2001... surpluses without the pain, and all that.

Not too many people realize that there was net approximately zero dollars added to the provincial debt during the last four years of NDP administration. Moreover, there was better GDP growth as well. To hear the Liberals and CanWest Global on this matter you might think otherwise.

"They look like the good old days now: 1999 - 2001... surpluses without the pain, and all that."

No they don't.

"Not too many people realize that there was net approximately zero dollars added to the provincial debt during the last four years of NDP administration."

Here's a few facts:

"If one compares the projected figures for 1999/2000 with those from 1990/1991, then budget expenditures have risen from $15,043 billion to $21.045 billion (40%), operating debt from $4.726 billion to $13.635 (189%), total tax supported debt from $9.769 billion to $26.183 billion (168%) and total provincial debt from $17,208 billion to $34.721 billion (102%) - all in just 9 years."

What New Democrats have to understand is this. By looking at your ten years in power through rose coloured glasses, you clearly signal to the public that you haven't changed or learned anything since you were almost annihilated in 2001.

But hey, if you want to go into the election campaign this Spring under the slogan, "Things sure were great when we were in power!" fill your boots.

Careful now John, throwing around facts with reckless abandon will get you into trouble with the NDP. If you are going to argue a point you have to use supposition and innuendo and when in doubt call Canwest Global, Canwest "Gliberal", that is a show stopper.

Overall, too many numbers and far too much truth in your last post to really qualify for this site.

You want to compare the last 3 and a half years to the previous 9 years. I was comparing the last 3 and a half years to the previous 4 years which is more fair. Frankly, doing that, the Liberals' record is one of pathetic incompetence: they dug themselves an enormous hole in the first year with their income tax cuts for the wealthy which didn't pay for themselves; thereafter, they had to claw themselves out of that hole by hitting the rest of us with huge, new regressive taxes and fee increases for services. We're supposedly experiencing a miraculous recovery this year, but we're still not back to the levels of real GDP growth that we had during most of the 90's, close but not quite, certainly no miracle thats for sure. Moreover, the better part of a billion dollars of the new "miraculous" 2 billion dollar expected surplus is due to equalization payments. Oh, the shame: we're now a have-not province relying on the taxpayers of other provinces to give us a leg-up. Thanks Liberals.

I prefer CanFox Propaganda, myself, Polkaroo, but whatever. I pick up the free copies, which are everywhere to boost their circulation figures, so that I can read Vaughn Palmer mostly. Even he noted the near net zero dollar addition to provincial debt during the last NDP government.

Let me also note the sale of BC Rail, a well-run money making public asset, at fire sale prices. That probably accounts for another good chunk of our "surplus" this year.

"Oh, the shame: we're now a have-not province relying on the taxpayers of other provinces to give us a leg-up."

Sorry, to further confuse you with the facts, but BC became a have-not province in 2000 under the previous NDP government. Right in the midst of Paul Ramsey's term as Finance Minister as a matter of fact.

As of this year, BC will no longer be a have-not province. Presumably that can only be attributed to the BC Liberals since they are the current government.

In the final 3.5 years of the NDP's term in office, the provinces debt increased every year despite claims of a balanced budget. Why? Because any money borrowed "long-term" to build roads, schools and hospitals was not included in the annual budget.

The BC Liberals - say what you want about them - introduced the use of Generally Accepted Accounting principles which means now for a budget to be "balanced" there can be no increase in BC's total debt. A very positive change.

Again, if you wish the NDP to run their campaign based on the claim that they are the best managers of the public money, please feel free to do so.

By the way, in case anyone actually reads these posts, I voted Liberal in the last election. I believed in what has since been proven to be a long list of Lies.

CanWest Global, by the way, gives large contributions to one party - the "Liberals". It should be illegal, of course, but, I mean, what more do you need to know? They contribute heavily to one party!

Ah bullshit, John English. Paul Ramsay presided over what was close to a two billion dollar surplus. You can look it up yourself: The audited financial statements are called the "Public Accounts"; they are found in archived publications on the Ministry of Finance's website under the section for the Comptroller General. The audited statements show a surplus of $52 million for 1999-2000, and for 2000-2001 they show a surplus of $1.5 billion. We became a have-not province during the Liberal debacle after record high deficits during their first two years.

Just to clear the record, BC became a have not province based on the results of fiscal 99-00. Just in case you are going to accuse me of being a Fiberal I have provided a link to David Shreck's website where he discusses that even though the NDP made BC a have not province that is not a bad thing and the government should apologize for acting like it is.

http://www.strategicthoughts.com/record2002/havenot.html

Anyway, I will just go with John's main point. If the NDP's position is that the late 90's were really boom times for BC and we just didn't realize it at the time, I think they are going to have a very hard time selling it to British Columbians.

Thats a good link you've provide Polkaroo, but nowhere on that particular webpage does it corroborate your contention that "BC became a have not province based on the results of fiscal 99-00".

Follow my link and you'll see fiscal 99-00 had a surplus. That isn't the basis of any equalization payments. In any case, "final adjustments are made with revised data 30 months after the fact". And equalization payments have reached record levels this year.

I'd like to see Gary Collins eat his own words:

"Some people might take comfort in the fact that being a have-not means we'll get an equalization payment."
"But that hardly compensates for the utter indignity - the downright shame - of seeing this great province . . . with all our talented, hardworking people, and all of our resources, and all of our advantages . . . having to take a hand-out from our neighbours in other provinces."

Lets be realistic, though, Polkaroo, with CanWest Global informing the province, the NDP have a tough time convincing anyone of anything.

Here's a nice link to equalization payments over the years. So, OK, we received 125 million in 99-00, but that, according to the formula would have been based on much earlier results - about 30 months. So we became a have-not province much earlier than I thought; I'll just have to live with those facts. But, look at how those payments have increased since the BC Liberals have taken over. Whoaaah. 195 million in 01-02, 332 million in 03-04, and 824 million in 04-05! Wow! We've really been turning a corner, eh? Imagine the headlines if this had been the NDP.

Lot of David Schreck links listed above; its an excellent site for economic data and analysis, and I confess I even found the Ministry of Finance's website and directions to the appropriate data from him. Sure, he's partisan, but he's honest, anyway.

http://www.strategicthoughts.com/

"Ah bullshit, John English. Paul Ramsay presided over what was close to a two billion dollar surplus. You can look it up yourself: The audited financial statements are called the "Public Accounts"; they are found in archived publications on the Ministry of Finance's website under the section for the Comptroller General. The audited statements show a surplus of $52 million for 1999-2000, and for 2000-2001 they show a surplus of $1.5 billion. We became a have-not province during the Liberal debacle after record high deficits during their first two years."

Sigh...Well, let me try and explain this again. While the operating budget was balanced during those years (one year with the help of a billion dollar accounting change at BC Pension Corp) the provinces total debt increased in each of those years, because at that time the operating budget did not include things like long-term borrowing costs, Crown Corp debt etc.

Under Generally Accepted Accounting principles all of those things are now rolled together. So now you can't have a provincial budget that is "balanced" at the time time the provinces consolidated total debt is increasing at it did under the NDP.

I always laugh at the socialist hordes who like claim “the NDP left BC with a $ 1.6 Billion surplus” – What about the ALL of the other budgets when the NDP was in power? Every single one was a bust with huge deficits adding to the mammoth debt (remember the “fudget” budget and “wriggle room”). The really sad but true part about the one and only NDP “Balanced” budget is the public pension plan adjustment. In July of 1999 the Public Sector Pension Plan Act was passed - this nifty little piece of legislation allowed the government to pass off the liability of public pensions onto the plan members via a "pension board" thus the NDP "books" no longer had to record an "unfunded pension liability” as it was transferred to the new "authority". The elimination of this liability was in turn accounted as an "improvement" in the government's operating statements, that for the 2000/2001 “balanced” budget suddenly (and neatly) turned a $1.39 Billion dollar liability into a $ 1.39 billion “surplus” – Given that the entire surplus was pegged at $ 1.6 Billion you can all thank the public sector pension plan for it’s contribution to Mr. “under-rated” Ramsey’s co-called “surplus”. Now Carole James needs Garry Doer to come in give her lessons on how to be a politician and raise money – I wonder who is paying for Doer’s airfare being that it is not an official visit. ? A Union perhaps? Maybe she needs his advice on what to say about the film industry subsidies, after all when it comes to having an opinion on actual policy she seems badly lacking, unless of course it is using her hindsight to criticize – here she is 20/20, hindsight always is – right on the coal wouldn’t you say!

Uhh, John, the change in pension accounting benefited the Liberals in 2001-2002 with 1.5 billion extra dollars - one time. And they still managed to have a 1.2 billion deficit. Also, the last step in conforming to GAAP was the addition of the so-called SUCH sector: school districts, universities, colleges and institutes, and health-care organizations in other words. This step was also of benefit to the bottom line for the Liberals. Presumably, it would have been the same had the NDP done so. See the last paragraph here for more details. David Schreck again.

Didn't the auditor- general in Manitoba just blast Mr Doer's governments accounting practices - seems that they don't conform to GAAP - they have the second highest defict in their history - sounds like they didn't want GAAP because of losses by crown corps - Manitoba says it will now move towards GAAP in a couple of years - and now he has come to BC to provide insight to Carol James

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