NEWS

Christy Clark's ranked 4th fiscally amongst premiers

12/06/2012 09:47 EST | Updated 02/05/2013 05:12 EST
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has been ranked fourth among Canada's 10 provincial leaders for her 'fiscal performance,' in a new report by the Fraser Institute released Thursday.

The Vancouver-based economic think tank ranked Premier Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland and Labrador in first; then Premier David Alward of New Brunswick second and Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan third.

The think tank said it measured the premiers’ performance in terms of three components of fiscal policy — government spending, taxes, and debt and deficits for 2011/12.

The report scores Premier Christy Clark reasonably well in each category, but there may be some reason for concern for Clark, whose government often boasts of leading one of the strongest economies in the country.

In her first year in the ranking Clark scored just 60 per cent. In last year's report, the institute ranked Gordon Campbell first in the country by a wide margin with a score of 83 per cent.

The report looks at a premiers' entire terms of office, meaning that Campbell's work was measured over a decade, while Clark's was measured over just one year.

Conservatives scored high

A centre-right political affiliation happened to correlate with the premiers standings.

Three of those named in the top five — Dunderdale, Alward and Stelmach are Progressive Conservatives — while Wall heads the conservative Saskatchewan Party and Clark leads the B.C. Liberals, which has been a fiscally conservative party for most of its 11-year rule.

The lower-rated Charest, McGuinty and Ghiz are Liberals, while Dexter and Selinger are New Democrats.

The report gave top marks to Progressive Conservative Alward in both the government spending and taxes components.

Clark was rated in the mid-range in terms of taxes and debt, but was placed third of out 10 in government spending for keeping average program expenditures “below the rate of provincial economic growth.”

Following Clark in the report’s ratings were former Alberta premier Ed Stelmach, fifth; Nova Scotia’s Darrell Dexter, sixth; former Quebec premier Jean Charest, seventh; Ontario’s Dalton McGuinty, eighth; Premier Robert Ghiz of P.E.I, ninth; and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger was rated tenth.

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