VANCOUVER – New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix today said he would invest in communities and people as the best approach to jobs and the economy in B.C.
"In a time of great economic insecurity, British Columbians are looking for concrete measures that offer them hope for a better future," said Dix, who spoke at the Union of B.C. Municipalities' convention. "We need to invest in people and communities, so my generation is not the first to leave our province with less than what we found."
Dix called for the carbon tax to fund transit in urban areas and environmental projects in smaller communities, rather than subsidizing corporate tax cuts. These investments would be funded by rolling back the corporate income tax rate to 2008 levels.
"Like all my proposals, I'm going to say what I'm going to do and say how I'm going to pay for it," said Dix.
Dix also emphasized how investments in post-secondary education and apprenticeships are essential if B.C. is to avoid the looming skills shortage.
"I've met with business leaders who tell me they are facing a shortage of skilled labour. We are in danger of developing an economy in which we have jobs without people. The government's own labour market report says that 80 per cent of jobs in the future will require some form of post-secondary education."
Dix said he will also use the purchasing power of government to stimulate local economies and job creation.
"Sixty per cent of local governments in B.C. have a commitment to local purchasing and local hiring. Like them, I am committed to using the purchasing power of the province to ensure that tax dollars end up being spent on Main Street, not on a cheque to companies in other provinces and countries.
"We cannot, as is the case with raw logs, export jobs along with our natural resources because our provincial government has given up on resource-dependent communities."