04/26/2013 10:22 EDT | Updated 06/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Reality Check | How Much Is The B.C. NDP Promising To Spend?

BC Liberals

B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark has been attacking her opponent NDP Leader Adrian Dix by calling him the $3-billion-man because that's what she claims his campaign promises will cost.

"Beside you is the man who hopes to be premier and who has introduced so far $3 billion worth of new spending in the last nine days," Clark said Friday morning during a radio debate between the four leaders.

The Liberals have even hired space on a billboard next to Highway 91 in Delta to post a so-called Spend-o-meter broadcasting their claims.

But Dix says his party's election promises only amount to $2 billion in additional spending over the next three years, and all the costs are covered in the three-year platform they laid out in Victoria earlier this week.

"Change for the better means saying what you're going to do, and saying how you're going to pay for it, and this document, this platform just does just that," Dix said on Wednesday.

So where does the $1 billion gap come from and who is telling the truth?

CBC's Reality Check team decided to add up the numbers ourselves and figure that out

Liberals tally extra NDP promises

We asked the Liberals where they found that additional $1 billion in promises, and they gave us a list of items they say the NDP has promised, but not included in their financial plan.

- • An extra $400 million for putting carbon tax money into transit.

- • $300 million for an Early Years Innovation Fund.

- • $180 million for forestry.

- • $100 million dollars for cancelling the Jumbo Glacier project.

We took a closer look at those figures and here's what we found:

- The NDP has only promised to redirect $120 million from the carbon tax into transit, not $400 million, and it's already included in their estimate.

- The Early Learning Fund is also already included in the NDP's costing, and it's only $100 million, not an extra $300 million like the Liberals claim.

- The forestry money is accurate, but it's for the 4th and 5th years of an NDP mandate. The cost for the first three years is already included in the NDP's estimates.

- The cost of cancelling the Jumbo Glacier's project is uncertain, but the Liberals are correct to say the NDP should have pointed out there could be a cost.

CBC cannot and is not endorsing or verifying the NDP estimates in its spending plan. They are just estimates which are always uncertain and subject to change.

But in the end, the CBC Reality Check team found the Liberals' math — how they calculated the NDP election promises —just doesn't add up. We find their $3 billion claim wrong.

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