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BC insulated from economic trouble this time, says finance minister

British Columbia may or may not be headed for a double dip recession, but there's definitely something repetitive about Finance Minister Colin Hansen's statements.

“What I can say with great certainty is British Columbia will do better than just about any other jurisdiction in North America,” Hansen said today when asked about global economic volatility and the chance the province's economy will return to recession.

That's strikingly similar to what Hansen said in the second half of 2008 as economic problems in the United States threatened to pull other jurisdictions down.

On Nov. 8, 2008, the Globe and Mail quoted Hansen saying B.C. will “weather the storm better than any other jurisdiction in North America.”

And the Vancouver Sun on Nov. 21, 2008 had him saying, “Our economy is strong relative to pretty much every other jurisdiction in North America . . . Nothing on the horizon would lead us to believe that the province is at risk of going into recession."

Time will tell if Hansen's comments today were correct, but there's plenty of data available to assess his 2008 statements.

B.C. had the second worst performing economy in Canada in 2008, Statistics Canada reported. The province went into recession that year, with its Gross Domestic Product falling by 0.3 percent. Other provinces did better with the GDP growing nationally by 0.5 percent.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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