Tribune Staff Writer
The British Columbia Debt Clock rolled into town last Wednesday, July 9.
The stop in Williams Lake was one of the last stops for the clock, which the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been touring around B.C. for the past three weeks.
When it arrived in Williams Lake at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, it listed B.C.’s provincial debt at $57,657,390,833.
That number grows by $12,854 per minute, and about $1 million every 78 minutes according to the organization, who said they get their numbers from the B.C. provincial budget.
“It’s actually been depressing how much the numbers keep going up. Every time I plug it in I hold my breath. It never stops,” said Jordan Bateman, the B.C. director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation who has been travelling with the clock.
Since Bateman and the clock started their journey they have visited 30 communities around B.C. and the provincial debt has grown by almost $200 million.
“The reason we did this tour was to pressure the government to reduce debt. During the election campaign there was a lot of talk by Christy Clark about a debt free B.C. We’re not, we are far from being debt free,” said Bateman.
The clock also shows that the debt per person in B.C. rests at $12,426.
When asked about what he wanted to accomplish with the debt clock, Bateman answered: “Number one is calling on the provincial government to reign in their spending and pay down the debt.
We also wanted to have a conversation with ordinary British Columbians. We need to have realistic expectations of what government can do. They can’t do it all,” Bateman said.
“We need to stop and look at everything we are spending money on and make sure they are valuable for British Columbians and not just for getting votes,” he continued.
“We also need to make sure benefits flow back into paying these debts.”
After the clock finishes its B.C. tour in Prince George, the clock will be refitted as the Ontario Debt Clock and make the rounds in Ontario this fall.