bc economy

B.C. at fiscal crossroads—next week’s budget update will reveal path new government takes

Rhetoric from the campaign trail stressed increased spending and higher taxes.

NDP election win prompts waves of uncertainty that threaten investment in B.C.

Policy uncertainty can drive down business investment by between six and 10.5 per cent.

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Measuring the Impact of the 2017 Election on Uncertainty in British Columbia


  • Political uncertainty and policy uncertainty are linked and amplified under minority governments. Uncertainty in both spheres leads to lowered business investment and acts as a drag on the economy.
  • This bulletin uses a proxy measure of newspaper coverage of the terms “uncertain” and “British Columbia” from 2009-2017 to show which events and policies increase uncertainty.
  • The British Columbia measure shows that provincial elections have brought with them varying levels of political uncertainty, which were heightened in 2013 when there were concerns that the Liberal government might not win a fourth mandate, and in the most recent election held in May 2017, which resulted in no clear majority winner.
  • The 2017 election saw proportionately the highest number of stories that include the word “uncertain.” After previous elections, the uncertainty measure dropped dramatically and immediately, but that did not happen after the 2017 election.
  • The 2017 election stories focus on both the uncertainty of who will govern and about the policy uncertainty created by the alliance of the NDP and Green parties.
  • The policies most likely to be associated with uncertainty after the election were connected to energy and pipeline policy, taxation, and the economy.
  • If the government proceeds with its commitment to electoral reform, British Columbia could face more coalition governments, which would lead to persistent political uncertainty and more policy uncertainty.

Higher taxes, less competitive economy potentially on the way for British Columbia

The NDP-Green agreement calls for a 67 per cent increase in B.C.’s carbon tax.

NDP must clarify how it will pay for deal with Greens

Uncertainty—particularly from the potential for higher taxes—will make B.C. less attractive to business.

Cutting B.C.’s small business tax rate will discourage businesses from growing

Every extra dollar of net income earned by any business that steps over the $500,000 threshold will be taxed at a rate five and half times the small business rate.
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