Unemployment up in B.C. over last year
Unemployment wise, B.C. is not the same province anymore with leading the country with the lowest unemployment rates. Presently the unemployment rate for Southern B.C. is 12.7 per cent and 2019 was 6.7 per cent. Abbotsford present rate is 8.8 per cent and 2019 was 5.6 per cent. Vancouver present rate is 12.9 per cent and 2019 was 4.1 per cent.
Victoria present rate is 11.3 per cent and 2019 was 4.9 per cent. Southern coastal B.C. present rate is 13.7 per cent and 2019 was 6.1 per cent. Northern B.C. present rate is 14.6 per cent and 2019 was 9.2 per cent.
The June 2020 unemployment rate for B.C. is 13 per cent, placing B.C. in sixth place out of the 10 provinces. In June, 2019, B.C. was in first place out of 10 provinces with the lowest unemployment rate of 4.5 per cent. In comparing June, 2020 to June, 2019, B.C. had the largest increase in unemployment rates out of the 10 provinces. B.C. has lost all of its bragging rights claiming to be the number one province with the lowest unemployment rates. Over a quarter of a million British Columbians have lost their jobs. The B.C. NDP minority government is now forecasting a deficit budget of $12.5 billion and a long term debt reaching $62 billion. Up to 2019, B.C. was the only province in Canada that was able to produce balance budgets year after year. B.C. still does have a AAA credit rating, but could be decreased with the financial mess that B.C. taxpayers will be paying for to get out of debt. Infrastructure projects already started are continuing, but projects on the books but not started yet will have to be definitely scaled back. Presently the NDP government has no agenda on how to clean up the financial mess. Locally, my crystal ball tells me that the new Cowichan District Hospital ($600 million) and the new Cowichan Senior Secondary School ($79.9 million) will be put on hold. The facts show that this approach has to be taken.
The federal government has just announced that funding will be going out to each province called the 50/50 sharing partnership plan in regards to transit money. This is still going to cost the B.C. government more money. That is, if B.C. is given $300 million from the federal government for transit, then B.C. must also contribute $300 million. If not, B.C. will not receive the funding. This just adds more to the total debt of B.C.
The B.C. minority NDP government have allowed payment deferrals to Sept. 30 on the various taxes collected by the government. As nobody in the NDP caucus knows nothing about how a business operates, room tax, social services tax, and retail tax has nothing to do with a business operation. These taxes are charged on behalf of the provincial government, and this is the government’s money, not the operating business money to be using it as cash flow. These three taxes should be paid monthly as normal and not deferred until Sept. 30. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a financial crisis globally, but here in B.C. has our minority NDP government actually done their homework on their spending practices in our present situation? That is, a detailed financial plan before rolling out taxpayer dollars in regards to ease the burden on B.C. taxpayers.