BCCGE presents to budget committee
Our thanks to David Field for his excellent presentation on behalf of BCCGE last Thursday night to the province’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.
MLAs from the BC Liberal and BC NDP parties sit on this “all-party” Legislative Assembly committee and they are currently travelling around the province seeking input on the upcoming 2011/12 provincial budget.
In his presentation, David urged the committee members to consider the revenue generating and debt reduction potential of B.C.’s unparalleled and largely untapped renewable green energy resources. He also referred the committee members to BCCGE’s Triple Legacy research report which explored this important subject in great detail.
As David stated in his presentation: “it is [BCCGE’s] sincere belief that public revenue generated by green energy exports could play major role in wiping out the province’s debt and perhaps eventually even replace the revenue being raised through the province’s share of the Harmonized Sales Tax.”
As everyone is no doubt aware, Alberta accomplished exactly this goal using its non-renewable energy resources and showed very powerfully that eliminating provincial debt and dispensing with a provincial sales tax is achievable.
Being debt free has allowed the Alberta government to save around $1.5 billion annually in debt servicing costs; dollars that Alberta has been able to redirect to important priorities like healthcare, education, tax cuts, savings and infrastructure.
As David quite rightly pointed out in his presentation to the committee, we should be looking at doing the same in this province.
Interestingly, David says he only received one question from the committee — posed by Deputy Chair, Doug Donaldson, who asked whether BCCGE cared who builds the needed renewable energy infrastructure; i.e., the public sector or the private sector. David responded that BCCGE just wants to see it built and the economic and environmental benefits allowed to flow; something BCCGE strongly believes the private sector can play a major role in achieving.
David’s presentation (aka BCCGE’s 2010 submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services) is available in its entirety on the BCCGE website along with the related media release we sent out last Friday morning.