Dix blasts B.C. Liberals in UBCM speech

NDP leader Adrian Dix used his first speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities Thursday to attack a series of B.C. Liberal moves, from imposing a municipal auditor to restricting local government control of transit funding.

NDP leader Adrian Dix speaks to municipal leaders in Vancouver Thursday.

VANCOUVER – NDP leader Adrian Dix used his first speech to the Union of B.C. Municipalities Thursday to attack a series of B.C. Liberal moves, from imposing a municipal auditor to restricting local government control of transit funding.

Dix also zeroed in on the B.C. carbon tax, calling for the revenues to be directed to new transit in Metro Vancouver and energy efficiency projects in rural areas.

“One of the real disconnects in our society is that we establish a carbon tax, we pay a carbon tax, and none of the money from that carbon tax, not a dime, not a centime, not a ruble, goes to pay for any kind of environmental infrastructure,” Dix said.

Speaking just before delegates voted on a motion objecting to a new auditor, Dix said the province should have shown more respect for local governments by consulting them first on the cost of the auditor and the limits on its authority.

Speaking to reporters after his speech, Dix said he isn’t “hostile” to the idea of additional oversight on municipal spending.

“I think it’s a slight to have a proposal where you don’t say what the funding is, or when you imply that the problem is with levels of taxation, and then you say you’re not reviewing those,” Dix said.

Responding for the government, B.C. Liberal MLA John Les said he was “puzzled” why Dix criticized increased accountability for local governments. And he said he won’t take lessons from the NDP leader on consulting with local government.

“I was a mayor in the ’90s, when the premier that he was directly working for said, and I quote, there is taxation room at the municipal level,” Les said. “And boy, did we get screwed over.”

Dix also called for a review of municipalities’ ability to purchase locally, saying 60 municipalities have policies to spend in their communities. The B.C. government has restricted that ability in a trade agreement with Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Just Posted

Alberni’s Anne Ostwald named a finalist for Premier’s Award

Alberni District Secondary School teacher encourages students to find their passion

Tofino and Ucluelet prepare for daytime Hwy. 4 closures and eight-hour power outage

“We know that there’s never a good time for an outage and thank the community for their patience.”

Port Alberni’s Healthy Harvest Farm closing

Operation will merge with Hupacasath Community Garden

Port Alberni Black Sheep hang on to win season opener

Sheep face James Bay Rugby Club in first game of the season

Port Alberni man arrested for breaking windows

29-year-old Port Alberni resident was caught breaking a window in a local residence

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read