On October 17, 2008 Prime Minister Stephen Harper refused to rule out going into the red in fiscal 2009/10. But it took 102 days for Premier Gordon Campbell take make a similar admission, softening his position that the provincial government wouldn't run a deficit. And his administration seemed just as reluctant this week to admit their deficit could be up to four times higher than projected. This, after Ottawa announced its own deficit would be around 50 percent higher. But why the reluctance?
Well, I think it's because the Campbell administration is a glass is half full kind of government. During its first term in office, the Liberals took a similar sunny ways approach - saving up good news clippings and banking the economy would turn around be the time they ran for re-election in 2005. Which it did. But this approach doesn't just seem Pollyannaish. It seems dishonest and disrespectful to British Columbians - damaging the government's credibility.
So instead of sunny ways, Premier Campbell should give British Columbians the straight talk they deserve and acknowledge the great recession is going to rain on his budget plan.