One of the best signs an election is coming is when the government turns on the spending tap. The graph below shows the value of building permits issued for government and institutional construction (institutional is mainly government – schools, hospitals, etc.) as a percentage of the total value of building permits issued. As you can see, the Tories underspent the national level between 2001 and 2003 and in 2006 the rate has skyrocketed to 25% of the value of total permits issued. Just to put that in perspective, the national level was 10%.
The reason I looked at this was the latest building permit data from Statistics Canada which actually showed a strong increase in building permits issued – but not residential. So, of course, when I looked a little deeper I saw our friends in Fredericton cranking up the spending.
What’ya bet they’ll be more of that between now and fall 2007?