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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Abbotsford’s Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks playing waiting game for new contract

Yale Hockey Academy product files for arbitration with Canucks, hearing set for Oct. 28

“Solitary” Update: Dramatic action scene to be filmed in Agassiz

‘Solitary’ will film a break-in, getaway at Kent Outdoors

Schnitzelz restaurant returns to Abbotsford

Fried meat establishment moves from Aldergrove to Abbotsford

Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

ERT, VPD response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read