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.

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

Gurinder Mann. (Submitted photo)
Surrey man receives prestigious restorative justice award

East Newton resident Gurinder Mann one of five to receive a Community Safety and Crime Prevention Award

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey Police Service looking to hire in-house lawyer

Solicitor to work within Office of the Chief Constable, serve on internal and external committees to ‘represent the SPS’s interests’

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Tyler Tardi will serve as a fifth on Team Laycock at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tyler Tardi to serve as alternate for B.C. team at Brier

Langley/Cloverdale curler to serve as ‘fifth’ on Team Laycock at Calgary-hosted championships

Sources White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank is located at 2356 156 St. (File photo)
Door-to-door canvassers not working on behalf of Sources Food Bank, says manager

Accredited White Rock, South Surrey, Langley food bank does not canvas for donations

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Competitors make their way through the course at the 2019 Canadian Cross Country Championships, which was hosted by Abbotsford in 2019. (File photo)
Abbotsford to host 2023 Canadian Cross Country Championships

Clearbrook Park last hosted the event in 2019, Ottawa hosting 2021 and 2022 races

Most Read