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B.C. maintains AAA credit rating under new government

An exterior view of the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria on August 26, 2011.
An exterior view of the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria on August 26, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

B.C.’s government is touting the news that the province’s AAA credit rating is being extended by international rating agency Standard and Poors (S&P), with the finance minister saying this shows the NDP approach is fiscally prudent.

But Chris Gardner, the head of the Independent Contractors Business Association, cautions that it’s still early days.

“We’ve got to wait and see. I think much of this reaffirmation of the triple-A credit rating is legacy management from the former government,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. budget: Is B.C.’s credit rating at risk?

Gardner has questioned the business climate under an NDP government, and says the proof will lie in what happens in next year’s budget and those beyond.

“That’s where taxpayer and rating agencies should look carefully: around commitments, around program spending, levels of taxation, whether or not [that] triple-A credit rating will be maintained going into the future,” he said.
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Gardner also says he thinks this rating extension is because of work the previous government did — not what the NDP is promising to do.

READ MORE: How True Is It? Eliminating tolls on Port Mann, Golden Ears bridges will threaten B.C.’s credit rating

“They really haven’t had a chance to, they’ve sent some early signals, but they haven’t had a chance to really run and manage the affairs of government.”

The S&P AAA rating has been in place since 2007.

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