Yesterday, we learned that Transit Police let NDP Leader Adrian Dix off with a warning after he was caught without proof of fare payment on the SkyTrain earlier this month.
The fine for such an offence is $173. Dix's constituency office is directly across the street from the Joyce Street Station and he professes to be a regular SkyTrain user.
Naturally, other transit passengers are feeling miffed that the Opposition leader and likely future premier gets off scot-free whereas most other schleps would be ticketed and fined.
Keep in mind that Dix earns $150,000 per year. He can afford a monthly pass.
It's pretty clear that the cop gave Dix a soft ride. It's not Dix's fault that this occurred. He was probably reasonably well-dressed at the time, offered a plausible explanation, and got off with a warning.
Sometimes, police have a tendency to treat people differently, based on their social and economic class.
Dix has said he took "full responsibility" for his action. It's a line we've heard before in connection with a memo he backdated for his former boss, Glen Clark, when Clark was under a police investigation involving a casino licence.
But did Dix truly take responsibility? In the earlier case, he did. Dix left his job and went into political purgatory for years before being elected to the legislature in 2005.
This time, Dix's definition of "responsibility" entailed admitting wrongdoing by not producing proof of a fare purchase, but not facing any penalty.
The Transit Police didn't apply the law equally. But Dix can still make restitution.
If he wants to end the cynicism, he should buck up and pay a $176 penalty by making a contribution of this amount to a worthy cause. He could challenge all other MLAs in his caucus to match that donation, which could raise more than $6,000 for charity.
Then when the B.C. Liberals attack him for fare evasion, Dix can respond by saying he turned a negative situation into a positive outcome.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.