Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) has confirmed British Columbia’s AA (high) credit rating, thanks to the Province’s strong fiscal discipline and declining debt burden, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced.
DBRS says that “All trends are Stable, supported by the Province’s track record of strong fiscal discipline, which has helped to place the debt-to-GDP ratio firmly on a downward trend,” adding that “British Columbia maintains one of the lowest debt-to-GDP ratios of all provinces, providing it with substantial flexibility to endure debt growth in recessionary times.”
The agency also says “British Columbia is expected to lead all provinces in economic performance” and adds that: “The Province incorporates conservative economic assumptions, expenditure contingencies and forecast allowances in its budgets, which has helped to establish a track record of prudent fiscal management. This has allowed British Columbia to be one of the few provinces to restore fiscal balance, achieved in 2013–14 on a generally accepted accounting principle (GAAP) basis, despite facing an environment of weak economic growth.”
DBRS also praises B.C.’s stable and competitive tax rates, saying that “British Columbia’s overall tax regime for individuals and businesses is one of the most competitive in Canada, and a sound fiscal position provides greater confidence that the tax burden will remain stable for the foreseeable future.”
B.C. has been rated AA (high) with DBRS since May 2007, when the government was upgraded from AA.
Since November 2004, the Province has received seven credit rating upgrades. British Columbia continues to maintain the highest credit rating possible with Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch. Moody’s recently affirmed B.C.’s Aaa credit rating and stable outlook in April 2016. Standard & Poor's affirmed its AAA rating in April 2016, and Fitch affirmed the Province’s AAA rating in April 2016.
Minister of Finance Michael de Jong –
“B.C.’s continued strong credit ratings reflect our commitment to control spending and judiciously managing this province’s finances. We’ve worked hard to keep our debt burden low and affordable, and our strong credit rating further helps keep our debt affordable while also making B.C. an attractive place for investors to create jobs and grow the economy.”