Accounting for everything

There was a line in Tuesday's throne speech that had press gallery members scratching their heads: "Adherence to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles should not prevent government from maximizing its public investments in independent, regulated authorities." So what does that mean? Finance Minister Colin Hansen had this response when asked during a scrum yesterday morning.

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"Adherence to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles should not prevent government from maximizing its public investments in independent, regulated authorities."

If the quality of Hansen's explanation is an indicator, we need a new Finance Minister, quickly. This one is confused.

Ok, one day later, the fog lifts. Finance today canceled the Annual Facility Grants to school boards:

The Ministry of Education has announced that it will not be providing the Annual Facilities Grants to districts this year. This represents approximately $110 million of funding that was expected by boards to fund needed repairs and improvements to schools.

Victoria says schools can use "surplus funds" from current year. Districts say that is not surplus cash, it is committed irretrievably. No doubt Hansen needs school districts to change their accounting methods so they don't count committed funds as spent funds. $110 million is involved.

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