S&P affirms Province’s ‘AAA’ long-term rating

Carole James

STANDARD and Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings has affirmed British Columbia’s ‘AAA’ long-term credit rating, reflecting the Province’s strong, sustainable fiscal plan and prudent debt management, Finance Minister Carole James announced on Friday.

“S&P’s ‘AAA’ rating shows the confidence investors and financial markets have in our plan for British Columbians,” James said. “With our balanced approach, we are delivering on our promise to make life more affordable and improve the services people depend on.”

In its report, S&P wrote, “We expect the Province of British Columbia (B.C.) economy will continue expanding modestly and that, in combination with sound fiscal management, will contribute to strong budgetary outcomes.”

The report stated that one of B.C.’s core strengths is its robust and diversified economy: “While the uncertainty regarding U.S. fiscal and trade policy remains a meaningful risk for Canadian provinces, B.C.’s more diversified mix of trade partners, particularly in Asia, mitigates the province’s exposure.”

B.C. is the only province rated triple-A with all three international credit rating agencies: Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. The domestic rating agency Dominion Bond Rating Service confirmed B.C.’s AA (high) credit rating earlier this month.

B.C.’s high credit rating means that the Province has lower debt-servicing costs, allowing for more investments that improve services and affordability for British Columbians.