British Columbia Posts Surplus of Over $700 Million in 2022-2023 Budget Year

An audited public accounting of British Columbia’s financial records reveals that the province recorded a surplus of more than $700 million in the 2022-2023 budget year. Finance Minister Katrine Conroy presented the province’s financial performance in the government’s public accounts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2023.

The government’s budget forecasts experienced fluctuations over the past two years. The initial forecast for the 2022-2023 budget indicated a $5.5 billion deficit, but it was later revised to a surplus of nearly $6 billion before eventually being downgraded to a $3.6 billion surplus. However, the final numbers now indicate a surplus of $704 million.

Conroy had projected three consecutive years of budget deficits last March, with the current 2023-2024 budget expected to result in a deficit of $4.2 billion. She emphasized that the audited public accounts demonstrate that B.C.’s economy grew by 3.6%, ranking it fourth among the provinces and matching Canada’s national growth.

According to Conroy, the province’s debt has been reduced to $89.4 billion, and operating debt has been eliminated. Additional revenue from companies and high-income individuals has enabled the implementation of various one-time investments.

Some of the additional spending includes $1.5 billion in cost-of-living supports, $1.23 billion in housing initiatives, and $1.5 billion for the shared recovery mandate for public workers. Conroy asserted that the public accounts provide a broad overview of B.C.’s financial position at the end of the year.

She stated, “We know it’s people who build our province,” emphasizing that government investments in infrastructure, health, and climate initiatives contribute to a stronger and more resilient economy.

(Source: The Canadian Press, Aug. 30, 2023)