Ministry of Finance and Corporate Relations
Communications Branch
109 -- 617 Government Street
Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4
PHONE (604) 387-3347 FAX (604) 356-2822


The B.C. Record

What the Experts Say

"British Columbia's high double-A ratings and stable outlook are based on the province's improving fiscal profile, moderate debt burden, and strong economic performance . . . we expect total tax-supported debt to moderate in the near future because of anticipated decline in the deficit as well as debt reduction through the use of endowment fund proceeds."

Goldman Sachs
Corporate Bond Credit Research Financial Update, March 1995

"British Columbia is still the strongest credit with respect to financial flexibility. The provincial economy is expected to continue to perform well as a result of a pick-up in domestic construction activity, strong net in-migration and continued robust export growth to the Pacific Rim.

"The provincial government has introduced a debt management plan to stop the growth of the province's direct debt and slow the growth of other tax-supported debt.

"Most of the increase in program expenditures -- particularly in education and health care -- is justified by the need to cope with a rapidly increasing population due to strong in-migration into the province."

1994/95 fiscal review of Canadian provinces, February 1995

"B.C. is in the best financial shape of all the provinces . . . Besides achieving lower deficits, the province has taken action to keep debt growth on a downward path . . . debt service absorbs just 5 cents of every spending dollar. By way of comparison, every other province devotes more than 10 per cent of total expenditures towards servicing the debt."

Nesbitt Burns
Provincial Handbook, December 1994

". . . the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio in Canada and the government's commitment to balance the budget by 1996/97 by freezing taxation and cutting the growth rate of expenditures . . . underscore the market's view of B.C. as a top-notch credit."

Wood Gundy
1995 Provincial Profiles, November 1994

"British Columbia was the only Canadian province to outperform its budgetary targets substantially in the 1993/94 fiscal year and the government has put forward a credible plan to balance the budget."

Lehman Brothers
Sovereign Commentary, August 1994

"Moody's Investors Service economic outlook remains positive . . . Debt levels remain the lowest of any Canadian province."

The Dow Jones Capital Markets Report
May 10, 1994

". . . Debt levels are relatively low, with the lowest level of debt (including unfunded pension liabilities) in relation to GDP of any Canadian province."

Dominion Bond Rating Service Limited
May 1994

"British Columbia is a leader in budget deficit reduction among Canadian provinces . . . British Columbia's prospects are positive based on the Harcourt administration's economic management, the overall recovery of the Canadian economy, and the province's geostrategic position as a crossroads of the Pacific."

CS First Boston,
July 20, 1994

"Taxes have been frozen for the next three fiscal years. The balanced budget plan is not being made on expenditure restraint measures alone. In fact . . . B.C. is actually growing out of its deficit position. The province is on course to balance its budget by 1996/97."

Canadian Bond Rating Service
May 3, 1994

"B.C. is on its way to having the lowest tax burden in Canada, the lowest debt and debt servicing burden in Canada, and the highest quality of public service in Canada. Right now B.C. is the place of choice to live in Canada -- the reasons will become even more compelling in the future."

G.A. Pedersson
B.C.'s 1994 Budget An Analysis (client newsletter)

Budget '95 (Province of B.C.)

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