British Columbia Premiers and Provincial Government Spending

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British Columbia Premiers and Provincial Government Spending


  • This bulletin reviews annual per-person program spending (inflation-adjusted) by British Columbia premiers since 1965.
  • The highest single year of per-person spending between 1965 to 2021 was under Premier John Horgan in 2021—reaching $13,250. Excluding COVID-related spending, per-person spending ($12,533) in 2021 is still by far the highest on record.
  • The second highest year of per-person spending ($13,199) occurred in 2020. Non-COVID related spending was $11,188 per-person that year.
  • Overall, Premier David Barrett ranks as having the highest average annual increase in per-person spending (15.0 percent) followed by Premier Rita Johnston (7.8 percent), though it should be noted that Rita Johnston served as premier for less than one fiscal year. Premier W.A.C. Bennett oversaw the third highest average annual change in per-person spending at 6.2 percent.
  • Premier John Horgan ranked fourth closely behind W.A.C. Bennett with an annual average increase of 6.1 percent.
  • Two premiers—Ujjal Dosanjh and Christy Clark—recorded average annual per-person spending declines of 0.7 percent.

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