Clark’s vision focused squarely on improving the long term future for British Columbians. In her final budget, Clark’s government committed over $25B to infrastructure over the subsequent 3 years. This included a $8B to build Site C, Canada’s largest new hydroelectric dam – a project that had been under consideration, but never started, by previous governments for almost 50 years.
Her success in creating Canada’s strongest economy was founded on her ability to create and communicate a bold vision for growth, her gift for building and executing on a detailed plan, and a strong capacity to predict, mitigate and manage risks.
Inheriting a $1.2B deficit, her first priority was to contain spending. She reduced growth in government spending to the lowest rate in Canada while maintaining the best health and education outcomes in the country.
When she left office, British Columbia had been Canada’s economic leader for three years running – the first time that has happened since the 1960s. BC went from being 9th in job creation to 1st among provinces. And, after inheriting a deficit of $1.2B, Clark’s government went on to balance 5 consecutive budgets. Her last budget included $52B in revenues and boasted a $2.8B surplus. When she retired, BC was on-track to eliminating its operating debt by 2020 - the first time since 1976. BC was also the only Canadian province with a AAA credit rating.