Premier Gordon Campbell needs to “come clean” and provide an immediate update on the province’s finances, New Democrat Leader Carole James said yesterday.

Speculation is that the deficit will be larger than the $495 million the province predicted in its February budget.

“I believe it is critical that we have an answer about what kind of situation we’re facing,” said James, following an MLA swearing-in ceremony in Victoria.

Campbell announced yesterday that a new budget will be handed down Sept. 1.

“I think there’s no question that we’re going to see the deficit larger than the premier told us during the election,” James said. “The public shouldn’t have the wool pulled over their eyes.”

Campbell told reporters in Victoria that his government continues to pursue the targets of February’s budget and is working to protect services like health care and education.

“Deficits are taxes on the future,” said Campbell. “We have to all be cognizant of that as we go through this process.”

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