Christy Clark is Canada’s best fiscal manager, according to Fraser Institute

When it comes to how Canadian premiers manage their...

B.C. Premier Christy Clark is the country's best fiscal manager, according to the Fraser Institute | Photo: Dan Toulgoet

When it comes to how Canadian premiers manage their finances, Christy Clark is tops, according to the Fraser Institute, but this not be saying much as the think tank said all premiers have room to improve.

In a report released February 4, the institute released its rankings of all the provincial leaders in terms of how well they manage government spending, taxes and deficits and debt, and Clark has come in first place, just ahead of Quebec’s Philippe Couillard.

She came in third place overall when it came to government spending, after Nova Scotia’s Stephen McNeil and Quebec’s Couillard. This category ranks the difference between program spending growth and economic growth, and in its report, the institute said that while Clark kept spending growth below economic growth, she did keep it in line with inflation plus population growth.

Clark did not score well on taxes; she ranked 6th out of 10 premiers. She did particularly poorly on corporate taxes, coming in 7th out of 10, which the Fraser Institute said is because her government increased the province’s corporate income tax rate from 10% to 11% in April 2013.

On deficits and debt, Clark came in second place, after Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall. This measurement looked at how well the premiers used deficit financing for government spending and analyzed whether or not the government increased the province’s overall debt load.

While this report gives credit to Clark to her fiscal policies, a November survey by Insights West found that her approval rating among British Columbians had fallen over the previous six months, due in part to the failed transit plebiscite, LNG delays and issues relating to freedom of information access.

The complete Fraser Institute report can be found here.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV