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Economist says B.C. needs to lay off austerity measures

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Finance Minister Mike de Jong gives his quarterly financial update in Victoria on Nov. 28, 2012 (CBC)
The provincial government has a lot of work ahead if it plans to balance the budget by next February.

Right now B.C. has a deficit of about $1.5 billion, a jump of almost $330 million since the last quarter. That means B.C. now carries a total debt of about $66 billion.

Finance Minister Mike De Jong was vague about just how the government plans to counter the deficit, except to say they'll reduce spending, and Premier Christy Clark says those cuts won't affect health or education.

So is austerity the right move? Ken Carlaw is an associate professor of economics at UBC-Okanagan. He shares his take on B.C.'s financial future.

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