When I was a young lad out of school for a summer I went to work for one of my closest friends. Fresh out of Ag school, he plowed up a a scrap of land in Richmond and started an urban market farm.
It was the early 80’s. Before farmers’ markets and organic this and micro-biotic that. My buddy was ahead of his time, as he remains to this day.
One of his crops was corn.
He planted rows and rows of the stuff and I hoed it (it’s a farming term). It grew nice and straight and hardly any of it died and one day we walked down the rows and my buddy made some calculations: 10 rows, 300 stalks a row, 5 cobs a stalk.
“We are gonna be rich,” we shouted at the surrounding half built condos.
And the corn continued to grow. The stalks that is. The 5 cobs didn’t. Who knew a whole goddamned stalk of corn only produced 1 goddamned cob?
That’s just about how the BC Liberal government estimates natural gas royalties.
A year ago the Finance Minister presented a budget that claimed BC would reap almost $400 million in natural gas royalties through the budget year that ends March 31st.
Six months later someone figured out that was a bit too rich. The new figure turned out to be $157 million, less than half the original estimate.
Reminds me of the deficit that was promised to be $495 million, not a cent more, or the HST that was definitely, absolutely revenue neutral or the 5 cobs of corn one measly stalk of corn produces.
I think I’ll call my friend and ask him if he wrote the Throne Speech.
From the 2012/2013 second Quarterly Report:
Budget Forecast Variance
Natural gas royalties ……..………………….. 398 157 (241)