NEWS RELEASE · 5th August 2010
BC NDP Caucus
Budget deceptions continue to plague B.C. Liberal government
For the fifth straight year in a row, today the B.C. Liberal government blew past its budget estimate for fighting forest fires. The record shows how the B.C. Liberal government is refusing to be honest about the true estimates for the cost of fighting forest fires:
· The B.C. Liberals have deliberately low-balled the budget for firefighting year after year. This year they actually budgeted less for firefighting despite the fact that they have blown their budget every year since 2005.
· Since 2002 there have been only two fire seasons that have cost less than $60 million dollars, yet for the past nine years the B.C. Liberals have only budgeted from $51 to $61 million dollars per year on firefighting.
· Budget documents show the B.C. Liberals have under-budgeted the cost of forest fires by $896 million since 2002.
Government Budgeting on Direct Fire
Year - Direct Fire (estimates) - Actual Spent (public accounts) - End of year under/over budget
2001 (NDP) - $85.7 - $53.8 - $31.9
2002 - $55.4 - $37.8 - $17.6
2003 - $55.4 - $374.0 - $ -318.7
2004 - $55.4 - $164.7 - $ -109.4
2005 - $55.4 - $47.4 - $8.0
2006 - $55.5 - $159.8 - $ -104.3
2007 - $56.0 - $99.4 - $ -43.4
2008 - $56.2 - $82.2 - $ -26.0
2009 (pre-election) - $61.7 - $382.1 - $ -320.4
2010 - $51.7 - ??? - ???
British Columbians want to know the government is budgeting adequate resources to protect lives and property during the forest fire season. But whether it’s the deficit lie, the HST betrayal, or forest fire dishonesty, the B.C. Liberal government continues to choose budget dishonesty over transparency.