Rating agencies validate BC financial plan to support people and businesses

British Columbia’s stable and continued credit ratings show key stakeholders in the financial community are validating the province’s fiscal plan to invest in the services people need and build a strong, sustainable future for British Columbia

Despite major world events that have increased inflationary pressures and spared no province or country, all four major international and national rating agencies have reaffirmed British Columbia’s strong position.

“The confirmation of British Columbia’s stable credit rating is further proof of the value of our focus on putting people first. Investing in the services people need, including through record levels of capital investment, has helped us maintain a strong economic position,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “These are incredibly difficult times for people and communities, and we will continue to use this economic strength to support people and create opportunity for everyone in British Columbia.”

DBRS Morningstar’s confirmation of BC’s credit rating on June 8, 2022 concludes this year’s review process by the four rating agencies. The report says BC has a record of “outperforming.” “Despite rising debt from a pandemic-induced deficit, which was further exacerbated by the November 2021 floods and earlier wildfires, British Columbia continues to have one of the burdens of lowest debt among the provinces,” the DBRS report said.

Along with DBRS, all rating agencies cited the strength and diversity of the province’s economy and strong financial management practices, combined with considerable fiscal flexibility and high levels of contingencies as key factors explaining high odds. A recent Fitch report, which confirmed BC’s continued high rating, said that “BC remains the growth leader among its Canadian peers.” The reports also draw attention to British Columbia’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) profile.

“I am pleased to see rating agencies recognizing the importance of reviewing investments through an ESG lens, as this further illustrates our province’s strengths,” Robinson said. “We continue to build on BC’s reputation as a leader in ESG standards through a continent-leading CleanBC plan; investments in the services people rely on, such as housing and child care; and transparent financial and governance reporting.

British Columbia continues to have the highest credit ratings of any province as each rating agency conducts a detailed review following the release of the provincial budget. Strong credit ratings allow the province to have lower debt service costs, allowing the government to continue to invest in the priorities of British Columbians, creating new economic opportunities and building an economy strong and diverse low-carbon.

Fast facts:

  • S&P affirmed BC’s rating at AA+ with a stable outlook on April 12, 2022.
  • Fitch Ratings affirmed BC’s rating at AA+ with a stable outlook on April 29, 2022.
  • Moody’s affirmed BC’s rating at Aaa with stable outlook on May 11, 2022.
  • DBRS Morningstar affirmed the rating from BC to AA (high) with a stable trend on June 8, 2022.

Learn more:

To view British Columbia credit ratings, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/finances/debt/credit-ratings