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Why has resource market share gone down while value of production has gone up?

LETTER — An open letter to Kamloops’ MLAs Todd Stone and Terry Lake:

LetterLAs British Columbians, we are some of the most fortunate people in the world. We share the riches of abundant natural resources and the public services, which derive from the taxes we pay. We also expect that the private corporations that extract these public resources should pay a fair share of the value of those resources in the taxes they pay. However, a comparison of the value of the resources extracted in 2001 with those extracted in 2012 and the related tax revenues exposes an alarming trend that we should be very concerned about. First, let’s take a look at the increases in just three resource-based production values in this province.

• In 2001, the value of coal production was $959,000,000. By 2012 it had grown to $5,060,000,000: an increase of 527%.

• The value of metals production in 2001 was $1,394,000,000; in 2012 it was $2,453,000,000: an increase of 76%.

• The value of industrial minerals in 2001 was $296,000,000. That had increased to $472,000,000 in 2012: an increase of 60%.

This represents a huge increase in corporate revenue over the last ten years or so. In comparison, if we look at the total B.C. natural resource tax revenue in 2001, we see that it was about $4.2 billion. In 2013, that figure had declined to about $2.5 billion!

Looking at natural resources produced in B.C., we find the provincial share of market value has declined from a steady 35% some years ago to about 15% in the last two years, a stark contrast to the huge gains made by private, resource-based corporate interests.

So, Ministers Stone and Lake, can you help the folks in Kamloops understand this apparent anomaly?

Can you also advise voters as to whether or not private resource-based corporations have made tax-deductible contributions to political parties in B.C.?

RAY BLESSIN

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About Mel Rothenburger (6631 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on Why has resource market share gone down while value of production has gone up?

  1. lee kenney // April 22, 2014 at 8:34 AM // Reply

    British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation shares , a share the wealth scheme for B.C. residents . Does Terry or Todd even remember that cradle-rocking free-enterprise experiment ?

  2. Very good point Ray, our MP’s should be held to account for this. Minister’s Stone and Lake, you have some splaining to do.

  3. Brace yourself for the LNG “story”, Ray.
    Good short letter, BTW.
    A year ago we were in the midst of an election campaign. Too bad the local media never did bothered to ask these very important questions. I wonder why.

  4. This kind of exploitation is not surprising, with the “Liberals” ( a terrible misnomer) in Victoria and Harper and his extreme neo-conservatives in Ottawa. They are systematically deconstructing the Canada and the BC into which I was born. The notion of service is gone, and wealth that once belonged to us as a birthright has been sold to the highest bidder. They are good at lip-service (“moving forward”), but water, Hydro, natural resources, agricultural land, military veterans, pension reform, are only a few of the war-zones. Wealth distribution in Canada is obscenely warped in favour of those served by these two governments.

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