For more than a decade, Albertans have enjoyed the benefits of Canadas most successful economy, in large part due to the Alberta Advantage. The widely recognized Alberta Advantage is based on the combination of Canadas lowest tax rates, smallest government and most attractive investment climate. However, the provinces focus on the Alberta Advantage has been slowly eroded. British Columbia now has an opportunity to surpass Alberta and create a BC Advantage consisting of the lowest personal income and business taxes in Canada.
The BC Liberals third full budget, delivered this past Tuesday, offers a few positive measures to bring about fiscal responsibility; unfortunately, it was largely void of an overall vision for the future of the province on how to deliver prosperity.
On the positive side, the Liberals should be commended for balancing the provinces budget. In addition, BC became the first province in Canada to comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), making its books the most transparent in the country.
Historically, British Columbia has enjoyed a high level of prosperity expressed in high incomes, low unemployment, strong investment, and a wealth of opportunities. In a brief decade, the provincial economy has been transformed from a strong, vibrant entity into one characterized by weakness and mediocrity. Only a radical change in government policy will return British Columbia to its traditional place of economic prosperity.