The New Democrats kept their promise to phase out tolls on the provincially-owned Port Mann Bridge and picked up the tab for TransLink’s Golden Ears crossing as well.

They got a start on funding their ambitious promises on the social spending side. They covered all the bills for a brutal year of fighting wild fires. They accelerated the phase out of medical service plan premiums.

They plowed an additional $150 million into programs and grants for First Nations, better than doubling the budget for the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

They followed through on most of the capital projects inherited from the B.C. Liberals — the Massey Tunnel replacement being the big exception — and added a few of their own.

All in, capital spending approached $4 billion.

Even with all that, James managed to deliver an operating surplus and a better than $1 billion reduction in the overall provincial debt, first in a decade.

Debt was measured at just under 16 per cent as a share of gross domestic product and 83 per cent as a share of annual government revenues. Both measures were good enough to maintain the vaunted triple A credit rating inherited from the B.C. Liberals.

Continue Reading.

Posting this solely to help kill the myth that “NDP governments can’t handle financial and economic matters well and that they’ll throw us all into debt”.

Reality is different.

Vaughn Palmer: NDP makes impressive start managing B.C.’s finances