BRITISH Columbia’s continued stable credit ratings show that key stakeholders in the financial community validate the Province’s financial plan for investing in the services people need and building a strong, sustainable future for B.C., the government said on Friday.
Despite major global events that have increased inflationary pressures and left no province or country unaffected, all four of the main international and domestic rating agencies have reaffirmed B.C.’s strong position.
“Confirmation of B.C.’s stable credit rating is further evidence of the value of our focus on putting people first. Investing in the services people need, including through continued record levels of capital investments, has helped us maintain a strong economic position,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “These are incredibly challenging times for people and communities, and we will continue to use this economic strength to support people and create opportunities for everyone in B.C.”
DBRS Morningstar’s confirmation of British Columbia’s credit rating on June 8, concludes this year’s review process by the four rating agencies. The report states B.C. has a record of “outperformance”. “Despite rising debt from a pandemic-driven deficit, which was further exacerbated by the November 2021 flooding and earlier wildfires, B.C. continues to have one of the lowest debt burdens among provinces,” DBRS’s report said.
Alongside DBRS, all rating agencies cited the strength and diversity of the Province’s economy and strong fiscal management practices, combined with considerable fiscal flexibility and high levels of contingencies as key factors behind the high ratings. A recent Fitch report, which confirmed its continued strong rating for B.C., stated that, “British Columbia remains the growth leader among its Canadian peers.” The reports also bring attention to B.C.’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) profile.
“I am pleased to see the credit rating agencies recognizing the importance of looking at investments through an ESG lens as it further illustrates the strengths our province has,” Robinson said. “We are continuing to build on B.C.’s reputation as a leader in ESG standards through a continent-leading CleanBC plan; investments in the services people count on, like housing and child care; and transparent financial and governance reporting.”
B.C. continues to have the highest credit ratings among all provinces as each rating agency conducts a detailed review following the release of the provincial budget. High credit ratings allow the Province to have lower debt servicing costs, which enables government to continue to invest in British Columbians’ priorities, creating new economic opportunities, and building a strong and diverse low-carbon economy.
* S&P affirmed B.C.’s rating at AA+ with a stable outlook on April 12.
* Fitch Ratings affirmed B.C.’s rating at AA+ with a stable outlook on April 29.
* Moody’s affirmed B.C.’s rating at Aaa with stable outlook on May 11.
* DBRS Morningstar confirmed B.C.’s rating at AA (high) with a stable trend on June 8.
To view B.C.’s credit ratings, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/