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NDP says policy 'dream' list leaked by Liberals is 'not a party platform'

On the final day of the campaign, the BC Liberals released a three-year-old NDP report containing several controversial policy suggestions, most of which were never adopted by the party or endorsed by party leader Adrian Dix.

The document emerged from a 2010 meeting of the party's provincial council and it included proposals such as the elimination of MSP premiums, the nationalization of independent power producers, restricting private liquor stores and cutting funding to independent schools.

BC Liberal Mike de Jong, using phrases reminiscent of former Social Credit premier W.A.C. Bennett's famous "the socialist hordes are at the gates" rhetoric, singled out the call to "nationalize" IPPs.

"In the 21st century, who even uses the word nationalize anymore? The last two people to use that word were Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez," said de Jong, in a press statement.

The NDP's Mike Farnworth called de Jong's remarks a "last-ditch desperate effort by a government that is going to be turfed out tomorrow."

The document is entitled "Imagine our future," and refers to the suggestions as a "dream tree."

De Jong said that the NDP will downplay the report, adding: "This is the collective dream tree for leading members of the NDP. Well, this looks like a nightmare to me."

Farnworth said the ideas emerged at a quarterly provincial council meeting where grassroots members are urged to offer proposals.

"Every now and then we have a brainstorming session, and people from 85 constituencies bring forward ideas. But that is not a party platform or even policy."

Farnworth said that party leader Dix has said he won't eliminate MSP premiums or revert back to government-only run liquor stores. Dix has also said he will maintain current funding for independent schools and not revoke government contracts with IPPs, added Farnworth.

"We laid out our platform and how we will pay for things and that is the program we will be following."

De Jong said he only learned about the document on Sunday.

He declined to speculate on whether Clark should resign as leader if she loses her seat in Vancouver-Point Grey.

Doug Ward is part of The Tyee's 2013 B.C. election reporting team.

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