Dix seeks balance with business

Tom Fletcher's year-end interview with Adrian Dix.

VICTORIA – NDP leader Adrian Dix has completed year-end interviews with members of the legislative press gallery. Here are highlights from my discussion with him.

TF: On the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion proposal, federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair says the federal environmental process would have to be strengthened before a project like that could get a thorough enough hearing. Do you agree?

AD: The B.C. Liberal government has signed an equivalency agreement that says that the federal decision is the provincial decision on these projects. If it applies to Enbridge Northern Gateway, presumably the B.C. Liberals would apply it to Kinder Morgan.

They could have done a joint process, where [the final decision] would have gone to both cabinets. They chose instead to give up jurisdiction. They were so afraid of making any decision on Northern Gateway that they sent it over to the federal government.

So what we’ve said is within a week of coming to office, we would end that equivalency agreement, and British Columbia would make decisions about both Enbridge Northern Gateway, which applied in May 2010, and any other pipeline, including the Kinder Morgan proposal, for which no application has been made.

Obviously it would have been desirable for everyone had they chosen a true joint review, as they have in Site C [dam proposed for Peace River], as they did with Kemess North [rejected mine expansion proposal] and other cases.

TF: You don’t want duplicated review processes here, you just want a provincial cabinet say in the decision?

AD: That’s right.

TF: On your relationship with the B.C. Federation of Labour, your caucus is considering a proposal that B.C. should once again do away with secret ballots for union certification.

AD: The B.C. Fed makes a case to the government on a series of issues on employment standards every year. Labour law, every year. WorkSafeBC, every year. Trades and training, every year.

With respect to [accepting signed union cards for certification], it is a democratic process that the Newfoundland Conservative government just put into place a few months ago. So it’s a proposal from the labour movement and we’re looking at it.

For most of B.C.’s modern history, since World War II, we’ve had that card-check system in place. The question would be whether [returning to that system] is a priority for this term in government.

TF: So those kinds of things will be made clear in your platform?

AD: Absolutely.

TF: You picked up some serious money from the business community at a fundraiser in October. Is that some kind of a record for the NDP?

AD: [Laughs.] It might be a record, I don’t know. I think the business fundraiser we did at the Hotel Vancouver netted $350,000.

I think what it reflects is, this year I’ve had about 230 meetings with the business community. The purpose of it has been principally to build understanding, particularly on issues of skills training. With the priority I give to skills training, I think I’m much more attuned to their concerns than the government has been.

TF: I suppose that kind of success in fundraising might make it more difficult to follow through with your pledge to ban corporate and union donations.

AD: I don’t think so. The B.C. Liberal Party has a very high level of corporate donations as a percentage of its total. We’re overwhelmingly dependent on individual donations. We get support from unions, but it’s not even close to what people would think.

TF: So you’ll campaign for that, as you have before?

AD: Yes.

Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com

tfletcher@blackpress.ca

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy approves the first step towards new subdivision

Mayor and council pass rezoning needed for new development

Windmill blade display finds a home in Port Hardy

The blade will be installed on the corner of Highway 19 and the Bear Cove Highway

Port Harvey shipyard greenlit

Bylaw 895 has been adopted by RDMW

Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department appoints deputy chief

Port McNeill Fire Chief Dean Tait has appointed 10+ year firefighter veteran… Continue reading

Port McNeill in Focus: Childcare Availability Crisis a Good News/Bad News Story

On average, childcare across the country is unavailable, unaffordable, and the quality varies.

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

VIDEO: B.C. woman gets up-close view of Royal wedding

Kelly Samra won a trip back to her home country to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say ‘I do’

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Most Read