Dix talks transit, energy at Langley lunch meeting

NDP leader speaks to Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce on Monday

NDP leader Adrian Dix spoke to a crowd of about 30 at the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

These are difficult times in B.C. and if the NDP is elected to lead this province, leader Adrian Dix believes they are inheriting “a financial mess” from the BC Liberals.

That’s what Dix told a sparse crowd of about 30 who gathered to hear him speak on Monday at the second in the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce leadership luncheon series at Newlands. Premier Christy Clark is set to speak on Monday, March 25. Conservative leader John Cummins spoke on Friday. The only Langley municipal politician to attend the luncheon was City councillor Teri James.

“If elected there will be things we would like to do but we can’t, and things we just won’t be able to do, but we will lay all of that out long before the election in May,” promised Dix.

Dix did offer a glimpse into his position on TransLink’s funding woes, economy drivers, taxes and gas projects.

Dix recognized that transportation is a key issue for Langley and wants to see carbon tax revenue dedicated to TransLink.

“People in Langley pay more than anywhere else,” Dix said. “I’m from Vancouver so I can take SkyTrain everywhere.”

He then jokingly referenced to the time he was caught not paying for SkyTrain. He wants to return power to the TransLink Mayors’ Council, given it is local governments that take on all the funding burden to pay for transit and transportation infrastructure across Metro Vancouver, he said.

“Transit is absolutely necessary. It’s a key priority for livability and for climate change,” he said.

He does support Liquid Natural Gas projects but doesn’t believe the province should throw all its eggs into just that basket.

“There is a law in B.C. about capped emissions. If you want LNG and if we plan on those emissions, we have to cap emissions somewhere else.”

He said there are many other areas of economic growth potential to consider, including in the film industry.

“In Langley, 700 people work full time in the film industry. Those are people buying and shopping locally, supporting small business.”

The NDP doesn’t support the Northern Gateway oil project and he said if elected he would toss out the agreement the BC Liberals made with the federal government, which gives Ottawa final decision making power over the pipeline.

He said the NDP will increase corporate tax to 12 per cent, from 11, but will leave small business tax the same. He didn’t address whether he would increase income tax or not.

Dix believes that for small businesses to thrive and grow, there needs to be a culture of stability.

“The HST was incompetently managed and everyone was damaged by it — the restaurant industry and everywhere,” Dix said. He was vocal against the HST and was part of the campaign that led to a referendum.

Dix spent a lot of time speaking about the NDP’s focus on post-secondary education coupled with skills and trades training. The NDP believe this is key to boosting B.C.’s labour productivity.

He said the NDP’s priority is to increase skills training even for areas like forestry and mining, which has potential job growth as many are set to retire. He wants to address completion rates in apprenticeship programs, which right now are set at 35 per cent completing training. To that end he would like to see counsellors hired to help students navigate that system.

He believes there is a lack of trades training up north. He agrees with the premier that the equipment students are learning on is outdated and investment needs to happen there. He believes young people are denied access to post secondary education because of its cost.

“When I went to UBC in the 1980s, it cost $800 for tuition,” said Dix who received a bachelor of arts.

“Today, it would cost $27,000 on average.”

To that end, he wants to reinstate non-refundable grants for post-secondary education.

“There are 800,000 people living in relative poverty in B.C. and we are losing our middle class,” said Dix about what his government wants to focus on.

“The last 10 years we have had the lowest economic growth,” he said. Investing in young people’s education is key to change, he said.

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

Just Posted

This woman allegedly assaulted a loss prevention officer at the Langley Home Depot earlier this month. (Langley RCMP/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Hardware store security assaulted by woman in Langley

RCMP are looking for a suspect in the incident

One Night In Auction hosted by Variety BC. (Variety BC/Special to The Star)
Variety BC hosts virtual silent auction to help children with special needs

One Night in the Valley was initially set to happen at Glass House Estate Winery in Aldergrove

Melanie Olfert tackles hungry on a global scale. (TWU/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Pandemic increases issue of hunger here at home – and around the globe

Langley graduate raises awareness for Canadian and global food security during COVID-19 crisis

Mary Foote (right) took part in the Gutsy Walk in August 2020 at the age of 104. She was joined by son in-law Clarence and daughter Edith Olson. (family photo)
Langley woman turns 105 on Oct. 25

In August, Mary Foote took part in the Gutsy Walk to battle Crohn’s and Colitis

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘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

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island residents warned to watch livestock, pets after bear kills llama

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

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
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

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

Most Read