Economist Jock Finlayson, senior adviser to the Business Council of B.C., said the province is well positioned for recovery – in no small part thanks to the federal government. “B.C. has relied heavily on Ottawa’s balance sheet to get through the crisis. That’s a sensible strategy,” he said. The business council estimates that the federal government’s economic and social support measures have injected at least $25-billion into the B.C. economy since the pandemic started, with billions more to come. By comparison, the provincial government has committed roughly $7-billion to COVID-19 spending and tax deferrals.
Mr. Finlayson expects this year’s deficit to be much smaller than forecast, and modest economic growth in the year to come. “A deficit closer to $10-billion for 2020-21 is quite conceivable, in my view.”