B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix made an Abbotsford pit stop on Monday to meet with local election candidates and highlight his party's opposition to the provincial government squandering taxpayer dollars on partisan advertising.
The B.C. Liberals are misusing $15 million of public funds - tax dollars needed for programs critical to economic growth - on advertising to help their re-election campaign, said Dix.
"Especially during a time of fiscal austerity, wasting $15 million on expensive prime time TV ads to promote yourself is wrong," he said.
"The money should be directed to things like skills training for young people, or home care for our seniors."
The NDP plans to table legislation that requires all government advertising be reviewed and approved by the auditor general, said Dix.
The law would prohibit government ads depicting the name, voice, or images of any particular cabinet member, including the premier, and ban all non-essential government advertising four months before an election. Taxpayer funded advertising also wouldn't be permitted to promote the governing party or foster negative opinion towards other political parties or groups critical of the government.
The legislation will focus government spending on ads benefitting the public, such as those around public health or forest fires, according to the NDP.
Dix was joined in Abbotsford by NDP candidates Lakhvinder Jhaj (running in Abbotsford South), Sukhi Dhami (Abbotsford West) and Preet Rai (Abbotsford-Mission).
Rai said Dix's visit was a means to get the NDP's message out to the community.
"I think it's great. Ads shouldn't be partisan in nature and not based on the message of the party in power," said Rai.
The NDP's legislative proposal is modelled after an initiative already in place in Ontario, he said.
"Once the B.C. NDP are elected, partisan ads won't be allowed," Rai added.