Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


February 24, 2014

Questions on the Core Review process and government management of capital projects

S. Simpson: On page 47 of the budget and fiscal plan we're told that the core review is about improving outcomes for the public. Yet Liberal mismanagement in five capital projects alone has led to a $3.1 billion overrun, almost 100 percent over the initial projected costs. This will take about $122 million out of the annual operating budget to cover debt-servicing costs on $3.1 billion; $122 million would fund 10,000 new skills-training spaces or hire 1,200 nurses or pay for 2,000 care aides for seniors. Instead, it's adding to a bloated debt load.

Does the Minister Responsible for Core Review intend to have the core review investigate and report out on how to end Liberal mismanagement on capital spending?

...

S. Simpson: The problem is that so far what we've seen from the core review is that it's about attacking important regulatory organizations like the Utilities Commission, like the Agricultural Land Commission. It's not about attacking Liberal mismanagement of spending across this province.

We have heard grandiose claims of being debt-free from a Premier who is presiding over a record debt, a debt that's going to hit $70 billion by 2016. And what do we have here? We've seen the northwest transmission line, the B.C. Place roof, the convention centre, the Port Mann and the South Fraser Perimeter Road. Those five projects were projected by this government to cost $3½ billion dollars. They cost $6.6 billion when they were done — $6.6 billion.

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S. Simpson: To put that in context, that overrun would have paid for a new SkyTrain line. It would have paid for Surrey's light rail system. It would pay for health care facilities. That's the public interest, and you're not serving it.

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S. Simpson: Will the minister commit today that the core review will investigate the outrageous mismanagement of capital spending in this province and dramatic cost overruns in the billions by this government?

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