New Brunswick: Fiscal Miracle Needed To Prevent Deficit

Posted Dec 1, 2008 by Bob Ewing
It seems unlikely that the province of New Brunswick will be able to avert a deficit for 2008-2009 according to provincial Finance Minister.
Saint John Flood
Saint John Flood
flickr/Number six (bill lapp)
New Brunswick is heading for a deficit in 2008-09 and the forecast is for even red ink next year.
The gloomy picture is being painted by provincial finance minister Victor Boudreau.
"Unless there is some type of fiscal miracle by the end of this year, we will be looking at a deficit in 2008-09," Boudreau said. "And if the current climate stays the same, probably another deficit in 2009-10."
An economic update will be released on Wednesday and will detail how the provincial economy is being battered by the financial storm. And he told the business audience that his Dec. 9 capital budget would also contain "record investments."
The finance minister is striving to find a balanced approach that will spur on investment and jobs, but not lead to runaway spending.
"We will be making extraordinary investments in the months ahead to get us through this difficult period," he said. "We remain committed to returning to operating surpluses as soon as possible."
In March, the Liberal government budgeted a relatively small $19-million surplus.
The surplus has been whittled away by the unexpected $30 million in damage caused by the St. John River flood in the spring, the bailing out of provincial pension plans being hammered on the stock markets, and declining tax and royalty revenue from mining and exploration.