Opinion Column

Be wary of Dix’s lack of specifics

Diamond Isinger, special to 24 hours

BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix. (REUTERS)

BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix. (REUTERS)

Talk isn't cheap with Adrian Dix, but the problem is we don’t know how much it will actually cost in the end. Despite nice-sounding promises of “change for the better,” he’s promising billions in new spending without providing any details.

On ferry fares, the NDP leader has promised a political stunt of freezing rates, while conducting yet another study. Details of how they’ll deal with the issues of ferries will come later.

Dix will also cancel the $1,200 investment the BC Liberal government is making to parents for a Registered Education Savings Plan, which currently is worth about $300 million. Dix is taking that money and, you guessed it, not saying how he’ll spend it.

Dix is flailing away on economic development and has now committed to a made-in-B.C. review of the proposal submitted by Kinder Morgan. What does this mean? No one knows, especially because in Kamloops the NDP leader seemed to slam the door shut on the proposal.

Now, skip ahead a few years into a could-be Dix-led government.

What if, in 2015, BC Ferries raises fees and cuts much-needed sailings to Vancouver Island? Well, that's OK — Dix had only committed to a "temporary freeze" while they studied the inner workings of the crown corp. Sorry, Islanders.

What if $300 million gets spent figuring out how to unionize all the childcare workers in B.C. to benefit his financiers in big labour? That's OK, he made no commitments to the contrary. Sorry, families.

If the Kinder Morgan pipeline gets approved by Premier Dix, did he betray his promise to environmentalists? No — he only committed to a made-in-B.C. process for approving pipelines. Sorry, environmentalists, you were sold a bill of goods.

Why is Dix avoiding specific policy proposals? It's simple. If they win, the BC NDP won't be burdened by any pesky promises that they made on the campaign trail. Dix will be free to do whatever his debt-increasing heart desires.

By making vague policy pronouncements, Dix can be everything to everyone. He is hoping that you aren't paying too much attention; in fact, he is counting on it.

Diamond Isinger is a Vancouver-based online strategy consultant with a focus on government and politics. She is currently advising the BC Liberal Party campaign. She can be reached by email at diamondisinger@gmail.com.


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