NDP leader Adrian Dix looks to Okanagan for election win
Adrian Dix insists hard work in the Okanagan will pay off on election day.
The NDP leader says his party has made the valley a priority while in opposition and he believes that will translate into voter support May 14.
“I believe there will be NDP MLAs elected from Salmon Arm to the border and this riding (Vernon-Monashee) is a key one,” he said while in Vernon for a party fundraiser Wednesday at the Village Green Hotel.
Dix suggests the current legislative representatives for the Okanagan have not addressed outstanding local concerns.
“The Liberal MLAs for the area are good people but what’s happened is, over time, the Liberals have been comfortable. The area has been taken for granted,” he said.
“I’ve held meetings here every year for seven years. It gives people confidence that I didn’t just show up before the election. They know we are committed to the Okanagan having representation.”
But while the NDP dominate the polls, Dix is reluctant to say his party will form government.
“We put the under in underdog. I don’t take it for granted,” he said.
Dix is unimpressed with a recent government announcement that $29.6 million will go towards 60 beds at Vernon Jubilee Hospital — 14 new and the remainder from the existing wards.
“The hospital, on average, is over capacity far more than 14 beds,” he said.
“People rallied (for beds) and they understand the issue well but the government doesn’t get it.”
Dix also slams the government allowing five licences for farm-based meat slaughtering and says policies have hurt the local economy.
“For many farmers, the impact is already in place,” he said.
Dix has been the focus of a Concerned Citizens For B.C. advertisement that blasts his role as chief of staff for then-premier Glen Clark.
Dix left his post after it was learned he back-dated a memo.
“I take responsibility for my mistakes, I own my mistakes,” he said.
“What I have done in my life, elected twice and I ran a non-profit, speaks for itself. I am happy to let the people decide.”