Dix Skates Like a Canuck! And Remember, They Lost!

What a disappointment!  NDP Leader Adrian Dix … touted by his supporters as a straight shooter and a breath of fresh air for BC politics … skated around like a tired old pro in front of  a hundred thousand voters this week.

He had a chance to let us know what he would do differently in dealing with the latest BC Ferries fiasco … and show us what he is made of … and, apparently,  not much … just the same old sound and fury, saying almost nothing. Even worse,  his strategists probably gave him a “High Five” afterwards for his “performance”.

I’m referring to Dix’s 6-minute  appearance on CKNW’s Bill Good Show Monday at 8:35 a.m. to talk about BC Ferry CEO David Hahn’s lucrative salary and outrageous pension provisions. (You can listen to his whole pathetic offering here… DIX ON GOOD, TUESDAY.  Go to NW’s Audio Vault for July 12 at 8 a.m. and then slide the timing bar to 8:35 a.m. … Dix starts at 8:39 and ends, mercifully, at 8:45 a.m.

For political junkies, it is a delight to listen to: another politician skating around, spewing cliches and rhetoric…without much substance. In fact, maybe none.  Of course,  partisan NDP supporters will gloss over the truth, even deny it … but they should HONESTLY question if this is the type of openness and directness they think voters will buy?

Dix responded to virtually every question …not by answering the question asked … but by trying to deflect attention to Christy Clark’s personal office hiring practices, previous stands on Ferry services, Ferry salaries etc etc ….anything except the questions asked. 

Pressed by Good SEVERAL times (wish he’d be as relentless with Clark too!)  the NDP Leader kept saying Hahn’s salary and pension and handling of the mess by the ferries board have been “unacceptable” …the matter is out of control at the top … … blah, blah, blah.

But what SPECIFICALLY would he do?  “Take action”.  What specifically?  “People have to be held accountable.”  What does that mean?  There have to be “consequences”.  But what would he do … asked five times.  “Take action”   Blah. Blah. Blah.

About the only thing Dix said that had any credibility was towards the end:

“You have to set the example if you’re going to lead.”

Amen!  Now why doesn’t he  do that! Instead of just giving us the same old crud the Liberals have for years.

Or get ready to try out for the Canucks next year …

Harv Oberfeld

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28 Responses to Dix Skates Like a Canuck! And Remember, They Lost!

  1. Leah says:

    Amen! He’s proving for all to see that there really isn’t much difference between himself and Carole James after all. Or himself and Christy Clark for that matter.

  2. Fred says:

    C’mon Harv . . you didn’t really expect a career politician to actually have a set of balls & use did you ??

    He’s a career politico. He wouldn’t know the truth or integrity if it whupped him upside his head. He’s think someone was patting him on the back and “missed a bit”

  3. Julie says:

    I really believe John Horgan, would have done an excellent job as the BC opposition. He is very well respected, even among the other party’s politicians. He has a wonderful wife and kids. He is very much involved with his community. I have never heard him speak, one wrong word.

    Never would have Horgan, left those questions, by Good go unanswered. He would have been upfront and forthright.

    (Response: Too late now. Dix can do well in answering questions …if he wants to. Maybe he has to learn to be himself, be open, be honest ..adn stop following the advice of losing strategists who think things in BC haven’t changed. They have and thanks to the blogosphere, the same old saying nothing and cliches just won’t wash anymore. Get it, Adrian??? h.o)

  4. ron wilton says:

    These guys have to stop dropping the ball if they want to make the team.

    When Good handed him the ball he should have fired it home, but he dropped it, and Hahn is safe at first.

    In the meantime Clark moved up to second and Campbell stole third. (no surprise there)

    This whole Ferry Fiasco, from the fast cat fraud to the derivitive German financing, has all the makings of a scandal that may well make The Great BC Rail Train Robbery look like an amusement park ride.

    Adrian the game is not over, put your DH up to bat (Big John) and pray that he hits a homer and saves your skinny ass.

    (Response: Very good. I enjoyed that! Although I wonder if he’ll ever hit a home run …if he’s wearing skates. h.o)

  5. John Sugden says:

    I am determined to never again vote liberal and was considering I might. reluctantly, vote NDP. After a pathetic performance like this from Dix, I don’t know what to do at the next election. Liberal govt. right now is going from bad to worse, and it looks like the alternative (NDP) would probably be no better with this leader (and I use the term lightly).

    (Response: You sum up the problem facing a lot of uncommitted voters. We aren’t happy with Clark and the Libs, but would we get real improvement, openness and honesty …and no skating around important questions and issues …or just another cast of actors, delivering the same lines and handing out favours, contracts and great pay and pensions to just a different group of friends. Ugh! h.o)

  6. Wendy says:

    I agree with John. I have never voted NDP in my life and cannot ever vote Liberal again.

    What a sad state of affairs for the people of BC.

  7. Maharg says:

    Harvey, ideal action by Adrian Dix would be to state precisely what he would do, as Premier, for addressing David Hahn’s bloated salary and pension benefits. I would also like him to fire the Ferry Board; however, he does not have all the information about either the contract of Hahn or details about the Board members remuneration.

    If he chose to fire both Hahn and the Board, what would be the financial implications of that decision? What is to stop the Board and Hahn from establishing a payout package, approved by the Board that is astronomical?

    Until Dix is in a position to fully assess the financial implications, he is between that proverbial Rock and a Hard Place. If by terminating both and having to payout say $15 million, Dix would get horrific flack, particularly from your old MSM associates.

    (Response: Well, if he doesn’t have all the info, why was he so quick to condemn Hahn’s salary, pension, the board and government’s handling of it all? Do you think, if elected, and after getting “all the information” he might conclude it’s all within private industry ranges for top CEOs? Or would he chirp the same tune as the Liberals and just hire an NDP set of hangers-on to suck at the public teet? That’s what is scary. h.o)

  8. DonGar says:

    The hell with party politics and all the backroom “handlers” and contributors feeding from the public trough. Maybe 20 or 30 independents sitting in the house come next election to hold the old school parties inline, accountable and honest.

  9. Lew says:

    If Dix couldn’t get through an interview with Bill Good without looking bad, then he did it to himself, and should be ashamed. Any time you have to skate away from questions from Good you really are in trouble.

    (Response: I liked the way Good went after him when it was apparent Dix was dishing out bafflegab. Hopefully Good will do the same with Clark some day too. h.o)

  10. D. M. Johnston says:

    Dix is a backroom boy with puppet strings disappearing behind dark curtains. He will do and say what he is told to do and say.

    I must refer to Mair’s axiom #2 – You don’t have to be a 10 in politics, you can be a 3 if everyone else is a 2.

    Sadly, the Liberal leader is a 2 and rapidly diving faster than a submarine. The 3rd party chap may win seats by default as both mainstream parties self destruct.

    As i said before, I live in Delta south and happily voted for the winning independent candidate and the way things are going, I will happily vote for her again!

  11. Maharg says:

    What we do know is Hahn’s salary and benefits are way out of line with other Crown Corporations, although many of those at ICBC and BC Hydro are also enjoying the benefits of a significant “salary creep”. Although the current BC Ferries model does not fit the conventional crown corporation, it still is one and remains funded by the public purse.

    Heck under the incumbent Liberals, BC Rail paid a whole slew of their executives big bucks, even though the railway was long gone. And, I would surmise that this BC Liberal generosity was/is hush money….much like Virk and Basi’s compensation.

    Hahn was the forerunner of executives that were hired by the BC Liberals for privatizing crown corporations. This process worked to some extent with BC Ferries, partly with ICBC, and significantly with BC Hydro.

    Most senior executives are not Messiahs, although many think they are. If the NDP were ever returned to power, neither the public nor your media acquaintances would allow a Jack Munro to take over the helm.

    (Response: No, not Munro …but how about Bob Williams? After all, he called for James to resign …which eventually opened the door for Dix. Wouldn’t it be fun to see his pay and pension package, if he got it! And watch Dix defend it all. h.o)

  12. cosmicsync says:

    So Adrian Dix has to answer for the outrageous contract the BC Liberals gave David Hahn?

    Well, why stop there?

    What about the outrageous contracts BC Hydro was compelled to make with these IPPs that compel us to buy power at three times the market rate during the spring runoff when we don’t need it? What’s Adrian going to do about that?

    How about the shadow tolls we’re paying on the Sea to Sky Highway and William Bennett bridge? C’mon Adrian, what are you going to do about that?

    How about the provincial debt, which has ballooned during the BC Liberal decade? Or the $6 million paid to the Basi/Virk/Basi defense team? Or the $18 million racked up by the defense?

    Adrian sure has some explaining to do about that one.

    And while we’re at it, what about our railroad? Is Adrian going to get that back for us?


    Tell you what, Harvey. Why not give Adrian a little help, and tell us what *you* would have him do. Should he rip up the contracts, like the BC Liberals did to the HEU? That one didn’t work out so well for us tax payers, who had to pay their legal fees. But oh well, we’re used to that sort of thing.

    Here’s what I would do. I would erect a huge billboard at the north end of the Lions Gate bridge, right next to where the BC Libs kept the Fast Cats moored for all those years. And that billboard would have a running tally of what all these sweetheart deals for BC Liberal campaign supporters and taxpayer-shafting contracts for pirate power companies with boards dominated by BC Liberal cronies are costing us.

    That’s what I would do.

    Your turn, Harvey. What would *you* do about David Hahn’s contract?

    (Response: First of all, get real! I have read and heard from NO ONE or said myself that Dix “has to answer” for Hahn’s contract. Don'[t we have enough serious problems without you making up imaginary ones? But Dix is the one …not me, not you,nor the rest of us, who ran for leader …suggesting he DOES have answers for our problems, like BC Ferries. Clearly he did not Tuesday …and now, at your request, I’m happy to provide my helpful advice and solutions. First, as far as Hahn’s contract goes, he should stop just saying it’s unacceptable or action must be taken , and ADMIT IT PUBLICLY we can’t do anything about it …it would cost a fortune of taxpayers’ money to challenge it,and just as the Libs did with the HEU, we would lose. Just say so!!! Second I would say immediately, if elected, I will fire the BC Ferries board. Not just some claptrap like action must be taken ..something must be done…blah, blah, blah. Say that they have lost the confidence of the public and must go. Third, I’d say that, within weeks of taking office, I will be appointing an independent body to study BC Ferries, it’s organizational setup, including whether it should or should not be an independent corporation, its fare structures, its executive compensation structure and recommend changes and direction within six months. There you go … for starters. Bet all that would gain Dix more respect from voters than the pathetic skating around he did on Good. And once more, if anyone can bear to listen to him skate around, connect to http://www.cknw.com … go to Audio Vault, July 12 at 8 a.m . and scroll the play bar to 8:35 a.m. Listen ..and weep. h.o)

  13. morry says:

    H.O. I have not heard the interview as I would never listen to Bill the Not-So-Good on any issue… he is a Clark pusher.

    As for Dix: Why should he answer the question : Of What Would You Do?

    He is not the perpetuator. Clark is in the hot seat. Ask her and make her accountable !

    Dix is in opposition and his carrying out his duties as Leader of the Opposition. Holding Clark’s feet to the fire. His role is not to say what he would do as doesn’t have the power or information on which to base his response. Legal, Political, Moral issues at play.

    PS Why doesn’t the Not-So-Good ask Clark WHAT she will do about the 6million hush money paid out to Basi-Virk. She has control of that!

    PPS Like Rafe MAir, whom i greatly respect, I will be voting NDP. The NDOP have never bankrupt us as many people mistakenly think.

    (Response: I agree the Opposition’s view is to criticvize. But I think in this new age of politics, voters also expect solutions. And if he wants to Premier, it’s not too much to expect him to say what he’ll do BEFORE taking power. h.o)

  14. SB says:

    I wont listen to NW anymore its mostly a BC Lib radio ad now so whats Dix got to lose there nothing , as far as what he intends to do i am in agreement we should have some idea of where he intends to improve things what he may do about certain issues that is important but id hold until i knew i was going into full election mode and continue to make the present leader answer what shes doing now , she has the power to do something today not Dix so why are we ignoring that fact, Dix isnt in the big chair Clark is.

    (response: Wow…where to begiin. I can understand why many, many people see NW as friend of business/BC Libs… esp anytime listening long time to Good and Michael Campbell… but don’t believe all those listening are like that… LOTS who disagree, so Dix should appear and when he does, give his best…which he clearly did not Tuesday. Its naive to say he has nothing to lose there. He has LOTS to lose there. And if you’ve been reading the papers, listening to radio … you surely can’t say Clark’s gaffs and lack of real action on the Ferries and all kinds of other issues are being ignored. She’s becoming a laughing stock …so how can you possibly say she’s been ignored??? the callenge for Dix is to show us he won’t just be the same as her …and so far, on the Ferries issue, he has not done that. h.o)

  15. Henri says:

    Dix Skates Like a Canuck! And Remember, They Lost! HO
    True, but why did they lose?
    Because they went with an inferior goalie.
    Both the NDP and Liberals have followed suit they picked inferior leaders and “their” better candidates were left sitting on the bench.
    Now, there is open spot for a third party to skate into the arena and check these two culls onto their asses..
    Neither of these present leaders are worthy of being Premiers of our great province, unless of course your satisfied with second class leaders.

    (REsponse: I like the analogy. But I disagree on the goalie theory: I think the trouble with the Canucks is they don’t have enough THUGS. They’re all great skaters but most are “too delicate”! Look who won the Cup …the Boston Brawlers and the Chicago Gorillas and even the New York Maulers. That’s what we need to win .. rough stuff …but not quite a lot of Bertuzzis! h.o)

  16. morry says:

    You are totally un-realistic vis a vis Dix. She is the laughing stock. he is in Opposition. He didn’t fall into the dumb trap laid by CKNW. No one expected him to say What he would do… it is naive of you or anyone else to think that Dix would fall into that…

    What I do want Dix to speak to: What is his vision for BC and how do they think they can do a better job than the liberals in managing our province and securing jobs for the youth.

    The Hahn pension mess is Clark’s to fix/deal with. .. Dix has nada influence on that contract. Sorry H.O. but you are not keeping it real on this particular issue.

    (Response: So it’s naive to think a politican should tell us what he/she would do on issues BEFORE they get elected. And we wonder why so few vote!! h.o)

  17. morry says:

    HO you are totally missing the Point! It would be stupid for any POLITICIAN to fall into that trap! Just ask others about this.

    Of course we want to know what Dix would do if he formed a government! Of course we want him to tell us what his and his governments priorities would be!

    But i don’t give a fig’s fart about the Hahn problem in terms of a Dix hypothetical fix!.

    Neither He nor the NDP created it. For damn sake ask Campbell and Clark about it… they created the problem! Dix can only deal with issues once he forms the government.

    No reasonable person can expect Dix to give but a self-seriving answer vis a vis Hahn’s pension at this juncture… consult with others on this you’ll see that your criticisms are meaningless .

  18. crh says:

    I agree Harvey. Dix should say what the NDP will do differently. As far as Hahn goes, he won’t be around after his contract runs out. Those damn contracts cost a lot of money to get out of and you would have to weigh the pros and cons of such an action.

    Also, I believe that we need to get rid of the current corrupt government and then do it again and again until one gets in that works for us! No second chances!.

    (Response: I’m sure partisan NDPers might think that’s the way to win: say nothing that could garner criticism or back you into a corner if you do get elected. But from a non-aligned voter’s perspective … I don’t believe that’s the way to convince them the NDP would be any different than the Liberals. h.o)

  19. SB says:

    In response Harvey to yours , i will expect Dix to have a game plan come election time but for now hes well within what id expect him to be doing criticizing Clark and as an election approaches i will expect some answers from Dix and his Party till then lets hear Christy Crunch show up with some real answers its her game not the NDPs

  20. mariner says:

    There are far too many th ings that need to be fixed and adressed, with all the damage that the BC Liberal has done to this province.

    I don’t think it is realistic to expect Dix to “fix” Hahn’s outrageous pension before anything else. Let us see first, if and when the BC NDP do in fact get into power.

    Priorities need to be made – including the IPP’s and ROR projects – where billions of dollars are paid out for no good reason. Sorting out these major SNAFU’s first and then consider Hahn’s pension – after all, laws can be changed and the BC Liberals do it all the time.


  21. Genuine says:

    Let’s try to keep it real Harvey,although I disagree with Dix as choice for the leader,hes a better choice than Clark as for you stop being the devils advocate in situations where it is not warranted, you my friend are totally off base on this one after all what can Dix do about it? he has only partial information unlike Clark with all the inside information and she still won’t show up to the rink,maybe her skates are dull hey pal.

  22. larben says:

    It must be remembered that this is the man who called Svend Robinson (after he stole the bijoux for his little Cubanette) a “very moral guy”! Prior to that, I hadn’t minded the man despite his Bolshevik ways.

  23. J. Ponder says:

    If Dix said what he would do about Hahn Clark would use it and make like it was her idea anyway. She has already used some of the things that he said he would do if he was premier.

  24. 13 says:

    Harvey, I am amused at the NDP and their inability to oppose. Ive said it before kudos to Gordo when he did not allow them status while holding only 2 seats.
    I honestly supported the NDP all of my life. I am a member of a trade union. The union movment much like the NDP have lost sight of why they were once a force in this province. WORKING PEOPLE. When the tide shifted away from socialism in the mid eighties the NDP and trade unions tried to be more moderate more vannilla more middle of the road. I see a glimmer from the BCTF with their demands but the NDP and many trade unions have forgot how to win. Solidarity. GET THE WORKING men and women better wages. When a target like Hahn is in your sights pull the trigger and make sure that you stand against every fiber of his over paid being. The CEO of a goverment run monopoly. Dix should have shredded him. Bill Good should have benn so pissed that staff at NW shoulf have had to restrain him.

    (Response: Well, I have not supported any party all my life. I think I am one of those many, many middle of the road voters who, more often than not these days, seems to vote AGAINST rather than FOR when the party in power, and sometimes in opposition, presses a nerve. I believe BC is ripe for change … IF Dix and the NDP (Or Cummings and the Conservatives) offer up some SPECIFICS that attract our votes …not just shallow, easily-spotted cliches and rhetoric. h.o)

  25. seth says:

    Y’all need to put the Machiavellian thinking cap on – think like Dix.

    If the NDP and Dix look weak and ineffective the BCLibs will be confident in victory and call an election. If the NDP and Dix are lookin’ good – no election – and BC suffers under the yoke for 3 more years.

    Dix is playing a role.

  26. Henri says:

    Seth in reference to your Jul 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm remark.
    Your memory is either very short or failing you,this NDP theory you suggest has already been been utilized, do you not recall the Carole James era . Apparently they are poor students of history ,as those who do learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them again, and they have.
    At different points of my life I have supported the NDP, but with the picking of James and now Dix as their leader my support is elsewhere.

  27. motorcycleguy says:

    Mariner is absolutely correct. HST and Hahn are serving as smokescreens while IPP “drain the lake” projects are getting their final approvals without scrutiny. Once the dams are built and the powerline clearcuts made they cannot be erased like the wording of a relatively short term ferry boss contract. The IPP contracts are for as long as 40 years and cede control of our resources. This loss of control may indeed be permanent with no firm clarification of NAFTA implications. Lets get some action on the important stuff.

  28. Chetan says:

    I’ve been a member of the NDP for 40 years and was suptirpong John Horgan but am thrilled by the selection of Adrian Dix as leader. I think we may finally be reaching a point where intelligent people are looking for a REAL change. Not just another Obama clone that speaks well and has no backbone in negotiations with the corporatists. Perhaps Adrian’s less “smooth” speech backed by true knowledge and morals will be the key to that change.If we look to the south at Obama and watch what “moving to the center” results in, we should learn that the right wing will never help a moderate government. It doesn’t matter what you promise them in return, they will always get more from right wingers and they know that. Compromise is beaten down until its little more than a carbon copy of what the ultra right wing, corporatists want. Look at how the “compromise” to get an extension of unemployment benefits for people worked out for Obama. He gave them the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich in return and now the cost of those “compromises” is going to result in medicare being wiped out, along with many other necessary programs for the masses. So what did compromise with the corporatists gain Obama? It is the same thing here. The NDP can move to the center/right and promise all sorts of business goodies, but the corporatists will just take that and demand more. They spend massive amounts of money with “advisors” etc to come up with ideas to trick working people into no-win situations. Like privatization. Thats a perfect example. Bennett privatized the parks and the deed was done. He signed contracts that were long term and could not be broken without excessive penalties. Each and every change the corporatists make is designed to never be undone. That is why they fear Adrian Dix. He sounds like he will actually DO things to help the working people of this province and, well, the corporatists cannot have that!He promises to roll back corporate tax cuts of the BC Liberals. In reality that is the ONLY way for the budget to be balanced and not destroy the quality of life for the working people of BC. His ideas are needed now, not some time in the future, which compromise usually promises….and never happens. There is no time left to save the environment. No time left to compromise and “work toward” some pathetic, tiny change. Its the same with economics. We can’t compromise now and lose Medicare! If we lose it, we’ll never get it back. The corporatists will make sure of that. More long term contracts will be signed and there will never be an opportunity for our children to get out of them. They will be bankrupted by greedy insurance companies and private health care firms, just like in the US.We NEED Adrian Dix and people like him NOW! I’m thrilled to see this change in leadership….Jeff

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