NDP Leader Adrian Dix slams Liberals over B.C. Jobs Plan ads

New Democrat Leader   Adrian Dix has accused the Liberal government of wasting taxpayer dollars on advertising for its B.C. Jobs Plan campaign.

Dix claimed the province has spent $15 million in contingency funds on the advertising campaign, which he described as misleading and politically partisan.

The NDP leader announced his party has launched an online petition calling on the province to “end taxpayer-funded campaign ads”.

“Fifteen million dollars could have paid for a lot of things and the government decided the contingency fund should be used to try and save the Liberal party’s political fortunes,” Dix told reporters during a news conference in Vancouver today (January 14).

“That’s a government that doesn’t deserve, in my view, reelection, but that’s a choice that will be up to the people. But I think it’s time that the people said the ads should stop.”

Liberal cabinet minister Mary Polak dismissed Dix’s criticism that the advertising is partisan. Polak insisted it enables the province to communicate with the public about important economic issues.

“The ads simply tell the story of where British Columbia has arrived at being a leader in economies around the world. And that’s not something, last time I checked, that was unique to a B.C. Liberal position,” the transportation minister told the Straight by phone today.

“That’s something that we all embrace. That’s something that I would anticipate that Adrian Dix would want to embrace. Certainly we’re not talking about any kind of positioning on a policy matter that is unique to the B.C. Liberal Party.”

Polak also dismissed criticism about using contingency funds to pay for the advertising, saying “there’s no magic to the fact that it comes from contingencies. It’s a very common practice in terms of how you manage a budget in all sorts of different departments.”

Premier Christy Clark launched the B.C. Jobs Plan in September 2011. It is billed as a strategy to boost the provincial economy by creating more employment and investment. A new batch of related television and radio commercials is set to run until the end of March.

Dix also challenged claims about the B.C. government’s record on job creation, deficit reduction, and other areas.

“The ads say that they have a strong record on skills training when we have a 37-percent completion rate in our apprenticeship programs and they cut the budget for postsecondary education in the spring. So the ads are misleading and partisan,” he said.

Polak maintained the advertising accurately portrays B.C.'s economic accomplishments compared with other jurisdictions.

Dix said such advertising spending would not take place under an NDP government, but he would not reveal what specific measures his party would put in place.

 

Comments (17) Add New Comment
Argulion
Some governments work for their citizens with tax payer money, while others have issues with confidence, security, ego or bad public opinion and must self promote with tax payer money too. IMO, current politics has a lot of issues being 'resolved' at tax payer expense.
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Robert Tritschler
The blatant use of tax dollars for self interest or political gain is just morally and ethically wrong. Maybe the only message to the liberal party is to eradicate them from the political provincial scene for once and for all. What is going on in running these self interest ads is inexcusable in the Canada of today. Politicians have to realize that the era of John MacDonald are over forever.
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anthro
Good for Dix. I held my nose and tried to ignore those Hooray for us ads, but the latest (which claims that the BC Libs held off "big government" and "big spending" to create a "healthy economy") is just too much. Too much hubris, too much lying, too much like the Tea Party and too much money spent on the backs of struggling people in BC. How about BC Place and PavCo's corporate welfare? How's that working for you, BC?
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James Blatchford
Mary Polak must think the public are all complete simpletons incapable of independent thought. This same arrogance brought us the HST, the Basi-Virk pay-off, John Doyle's firing, and the NHL lock-out.

Okay, maybe not the NHL lock-out, but Gary Bettman's arrogance has nothing on the BC Liberals.
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James G
The televised advertisements are partisan in an ideological sense. Apparently the economic decline brought about by the sub-prime market schemes of bankers and brokers were an elaborate plot by big government. There is no lie like a big lie and the old fib about 'fudge-it budget' has worn thin so here is the next lie. The trick is to keep repeating this mantra of lying worms that building a socially and environmentally conscious and equitable society somehow is the same as blatant handouts to corporate entities "too big to fail." As repulsive as it is that the public is forced to pay for this utter propaganda, at least the BC Liberals are showing their hand before the coming campaign. Their dismal record might get in the way, so lie away, lie away, lie away home ...
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Orville Redenbacher
The BC Liberals know that these ads and almost everything they say is just a stupid pack of lies but that has never been a problem in the past. That's because this advertising money is also being used to buy influence from their pressitution news organization cronies that dominate press, tv, and radio in BC.

That's why they always get good reviews from Canwest no matter how bad they are and really bad stuff will never appear.

When Gordo ended up under arrest in the drunk tank in Maui it was on page one of the Globe and Mail, top story. In The Province it appeared as a small story on page 18.

What does that say?
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Victor Charles
Good to see Mr.Dix on the attack of these incredibile abusers and wasters of taxpayers money.

I want donate money to the NDP campaign as this election is critical. The opposition must attack the BCLIB on their extraordinary misuse and abuse of money. No more Carol James. Junkyard pitbull please.
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Vic Rothbauer
Ads are always an easy target, but by mentioning them Dix just ads to the free publicity. And on top of that he tries to support his critique by lying about the numbers!! I'm in the building industry and know that apprenticeships have actually shot through the roof in the past decade. There are about 32,000 of them. Of course some will always drop out, but that's just Dix's distraction from the fact that there were way fewer of these spots during the supposedly "worker friendly" NDP 90s.
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judi sommer
Why have the liberals trotted out Ms Polak to defend this partiisan use of our money? She is not a political heavy weight and when we last heard from her she was blaming drivers for the big pile-up on the accident-fraught new Port Mann bridge-then it was weather forecasting,never the design of the bridge deck surface. Then the company who built the bridge was ordered not to talk to the media.What happened to free speech? Where is our premier? Still on holiday? At least when there was a controversy, Campbell and others had the guts to meet the press publically.
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Nels Linden
This government would also like to take credit for its position in the Global Economy as if they had control in that too. I find these adds puzzling and would consider them amusing if not for the fact that this government is desperate enough to think that voters are dumb enough to believe their spin.
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mike antler
It seems that the BC Liberals are trying to get more business and industry into BC, right?
The only problem seems to be a lack of skilled workers to be employed in them, right?
We see instances where new jobs in Mining are quashed by Enviromenta issues, importing foreign workers ( with help from Harper ), so where is the chance for BC'ers to get these new jobs?
Saying so many thouusand jobs were created in Dec, doesn't tell the complete story of how many of those jobs were still on the books in January.
When the rest of the World gets their acts straight, then the jobs will come to BC.
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Emily Cat
What a load of utter nonsense. If the BC Liberals care for job creation in a sector vital to the BC economy they would not be snubbing the current 'Save BC Film' campaign (on twitter: @savebcfilm)
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nutsnbolts
at

At least when there was a controversy, Campbell and others had the guts to meet the press publically.

O Pleeeeze, Campbell had the guts to sell us down the river, make himself and his gang very, very rich and then meet his friends in the press publically and lie his eff'n face off. He belongs in china like all the bc lib cons and fed cons.

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Martin Dunphy
nuts:

Actually, Campbell very quickly gave up public appearances, moving everywhere with bodyguards and only calling news conferences at the last minute to guarantee attendance by the usual suspects, especially those from the TV station, radio station, and the two newspapers that gave him a free ride for many years.

No guts there. You're right about the "friends" part, though.
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Argulion
@Nels Linden - it is quite amazing how current politicians and governments take credit for the 1930's depression era banking regulations. Those decades old regulations that prevented the Canadian economic system from having the severe collapse that other countries did. The only thing some current politicians can take credit for is NOT having majority power before the downfall so they were not able to deregulate the Canadian financial sector allowing the post depression era regulations to work as they were intended.
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Gary MacDonald

Re: The Murray River Coal Mine and Jobs in B.C.

I have heard with great satisfaction that HD Mining, a subsidiary of the Chinese state, has returned its 19 miners to China pending the outcome of current litigation regarding their status. HD Mining planned to have an initial 200 Chinese miners working its the site in northern B.C. with plans, approved by the B.C. government and the federal Minister of Immigration, to have up to 4,000 Chinese miners in. B.C. when coal production began. Their reason for this need was that there were no Canadian miners available. By a remarkable coincidence the manager of the mine is a former deputy minister of mining in the B. C. government.

Canada at all times needs foreign investment to develop our natural resources. However, I question the need to import Chinese miners from a country that kills more than 50,000 of its miners a year due to bad mining practices and pays its miners a fraction of Canadian wages.

I grew up and worked in the mining industry in Canada. The mining method to extract the underground coal seam at Murray River is called the “long wall” extraction method. It is highly automated but not complicated. A person with a high school education can learn the operation of the main extraction machinery in two days. There are hundreds if not thousands of Canadians capable of this.

I am told by an acquaintance in the B.C. government that the importation of Chinese labour has been contemplated by the Christie Clark government for at least two years.

Christie Clark started her television advertisements last week where she proclaimed that “the first thing she thought of in the morning and what she worked hardest for was jobs in British Columbia.” It seems obvious that she has been thinking more of jobs for Chinese workers under the federal guest worker immigration policy than she has been for Canadian citizens and legally landed immigrants. Christie, please follow Shakespeare’s order: woman, get thee to a nunnery.

Gary MacDonald
Cranbrook, B.C.

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Argulion
Just a note for the Liberal government people out there. Since polls have shown that few believe your balanced budget claim, why don't you implement one of your other catch phrases, "controlling spending" and stop spending on the Budget2013 advertising.
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