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

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

Rossland St. Andrew’s United Church planning for restoration

Rossland’s United Church has received a CBT grant to support a restoration of the Red Roof Church.

Winlaw man dead after collision near Slocan Park

Nelson RCMP are asking for witnesses after Sunday incident

Rossland city council sorts things out with museum

The Rossland Museum Discovery Centre has been growing its funding sources.

Lots to love this week at Joe Hill Coffee House

Here’s more to love from Joe Hill Coffee House and our talented local performers.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada rounds out Day 11 earning gold in 2 more events

Comox Valley’s Cassie Sharpe and fan-favourites Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir all earned golds

Trudeau announces two-way $1 billion investment deal with India

Some of India’s biggest companies to invest more than $250 million in Canada in the coming years

’60s Scoop group educates survivors, pushes rejection of federal settlement

Federal government’s compensation proposal includes $50 million for an Indigenous Healing Foundation

As ‘Black Panther’ shows, inclusion pays at the box office

At the box office, inclusion is paying — and often, it’s paying off big time

Washington senator wants B.C. to follow suit and phase out net-pen fish farms

An American ban will be less effective in the shared ecosystem of the Salish Sea, senator says

Virtue and Moir end ice dance careers with Olympic gold

Virtue and Moir’s gold medal win at the Olympics makes them the world’s most decorated figure skaters

Canadians find living in small spaces teaches creativity

Canadian families choosing to live in small spaces to bring closeness to children

Most Read