Standard and Poor’s has affirmed British Columbia’s AAA credit rating and stable outlook, praising the Province’s strong economy, budgetary and fiscal performance, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.
The agency’s report says B.C.’s AAA rating reflects the Province's “very strong” financial management, economy, and budgetary flexibility, adding that B.C.’s credit strengths include, “its very strong, wealthy, and well-diversified economy.”
“We find B.C.'s financial disclosures transparent, comprehensive, and timely. In our view, its financial management practices are the best among the Canadian provinces,” the rating agency says.
Standard and Poor’s says that B.C.’s “near-term economic prospects are healthier than those of other western Canadian provinces as a result of its relatively diversified economic base, which mitigates its exposure to depressed commodity prices in the energy sector.”
Standard and Poor’s also highlights B.C.’s budgetary performance, noting the Province has “very strong budgetary flexibility compared with that of other Canadian provinces”, and adds, “British Columbia's financial management is very strong. The management team is what we consider experienced and qualified to effectively enact fiscal policies, as well as effectively respond to external risks.”
Further, “The province demonstrates what we view as good political and managerial strength. This has enabled B.C. to enact structural changes as reflected in the expenditure management control implemented in the past.”
British Columbia has been rated AAA with Standard and Poor’s since May 2007, when the Province was upgraded from AA+.
Since November 2004, the Province has received seven credit rating upgrades. British Columbia also continues to maintain the highest credit rating possible with Moody’s, DBRS and Fitch. Moody’s recently affirmed B.C.’s Aaa credit rating and stable outlook in April 2016. DBRS affirmed its AA (high) rating in April 2016, and Fitch affirmed the Province’s AAA rating in April 2016.
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong –
“It’s rewarding when credit rating agencies such as Standard and Poor’s recognize the hard work this Province has done to manage finances, diversify the economy and keep B.C. on solid economic ground. This work protects programs and services and keeps the cost of building new schools, roads and health facilities affordable. Their affirmation of our AAA credit rating and stable outlook demonstrates confidence in the path B.C. is taking fiscally and economically.”