Last week, The Vancouver Sun's Jonathan Fowlie quoted Finance Minister Colin Hansen as saying the Campbell administration's "objective" is to run a $495 million in fiscal 2009/10 - just as they predicted in February budget. This, despite the fact economic forecasters are now estimating that deficit could be up to four times higher. In response, British Columbia Chamber of Commerce president John Winter said, "He must have more information than we have, clearly. From our perspective, we were quite surprised - I guess pleasantly surprised - back in February when we were in the budget lockup to see and hear the numbers that were being forecast, assuming at that time they had information about some economic growth that we didn't have. And I guess that was the case."
"The volatility in the economy in British Columbia is largely driven by oil and gas - gas prices and gas exploration and extraction and the royalties that ensues. And, perhaps, the hope here is that sector will continue to support the economy in a very high manner. But I don't know what other factors they can be banking on to achieve the kind of modest deficit they're forecasting."