BC NDP leader speaks in Coquitlam
The man many believe will be B.C.'s next premier spoke to Tri-City business and political leaders yesterday about the need to respect the democratic institution.
In a pre-election talk at the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Tuesday at the Executive Inn hotel, NDP leader Adrian Dix called for unity and collaboration as the 2013 provincial election campaign gets underway.
"I think we have an obligation to have a serious debate" and show leadership, he said.
His speech came the day after Premier Christy Clark held a BC Liberal fundraiser at the Red Robinson Show Theatre in Coquitlam in the lead-up to the May vote.
Dix told a crowd of 120 people about the need for fiscal prudence and highlighted some of the policies made under Clark, a former Tri-City MLA.
In particular, he singled out the BC Liberal government's advertising spending and the lack of carbon tax investment for the environment.
"These times require us to be clear" about party priorities, he said.
He also took aim at Premier Clark's BC Jobs Plan and called for more skills training for young people.
Dix pointed out four challenges facing the province:
• B.C. produces less than it should ("We don't make things anymore," he said);
• there is financial pressure on the middle class;
• municipalities, especially in the Interior, need to find ways to be more sustainable;
• and finding enough money to pay for government services. "How do we pay for things?" he asked. "The current government has run four consecutive deficit budgets."
Dix criticized the BC Liberals' decision to sell of Crown assets to balance the books. And he warned about upcoming expenses such as the Site C dam and the end of the federal health transfers next year.
The provincial election is scheduled for May 14.