For Immediate Release
April 12, 2012
Ministry of Finance
AAA ratings confirm B.C.’s solid fiscal plan is working
VICTORIA – The three major credit rating agencies have affirmed their credit ratings for the Province of B.C., including triple-A ratings – the highest possible – from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Services, Finance Minister Kevin Falcon announced today.
The reports come in the wake of meetings held with the rating agencies and as Falcon is undertaking four days of annual post-budget meetings with investors in New York, Montreal, Toronto and Chicago, April 10-13.
These independent assessments are based on the Province’s consistent track record of fiscal and economic management that have helped B.C.’s economy weather the global economic downturn and put the province on track to balance the budget in 2013-14.
B.C.’s track record of fiscal discipline, one of the most competitive tax rates for residents and businesses in Canada, and the province’s shifting trade mix toward Asia rather than North America were all cited as strengths of B.C.’s fiscal and economic performance.
Observations from the rating agencies include:
· “The ratings also reflect our view of the province's very positive financial management” (Standard & Poor’s).
· “The fiscal recovery plan remains on track and debt growth is well contained” (DBRS).
· “The Province’s plan to balance its budget by 2013-14 is feasible given its track record of effective fiscal management” (Moody’s).
· “British Columbia’s large and diversified economy is another source of credit strength that supports the Aaa rating” (Moody’s).
· “B.C.’s … role as Canada's gateway to Asia [gives] its economy significant wealth and diversification, underpinning the province's strong and stable tax base” (Standard & Poor’s).
· “The significant debt reduction efforts of the years leading up to the 2008-09 recession put British Columbia in a relatively stronger position to face recently recorded and anticipated deficits and increases in debt burden” (Moody’s).
· “Given the Province’s strong fiscal resolve, there is the potential to outperform targets” (DBRS).
Since November 2004, B.C. earned seven successive credit rating upgrades and has out-performed budget targets in 10 out of 11 years, and is committed and on-track to balance the budget in 2013-14.
Minister of Finance Kevin Falcon
“These judgements by independent, international experts confirm the very positive response we are receiving in key financial markets in New York, Montreal and Toronto. By balancing the budget, paying down debt, and reducing taxes to benefit individuals and business, we’re diversifying our economy and expanding trade with the Asia-Pacific.
“British Columbians should feel proud that their province stands out as a jurisdiction with economic stability and a strong competitive tax regime that will bring investment into our province. We’ve accomplished this while protecting investment in health care, education and social services.
“Our strong ratings send a powerful message to investors that we’re a safe harbour and gives confidence in British Columbia’s economy, helping attract new investment and create jobs.”
Director of Communications
Ministry of Finance
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