NDP leader Adrian Dix makes a stop in Vernon Wednesday near Vernon Jubilee Hospital and shows his support for Vernon Monashee NDP candidate Mark Olsen.

NDP leader Adrian Dix makes a stop in Vernon Wednesday near Vernon Jubilee Hospital and shows his support for Vernon Monashee NDP candidate Mark Olsen.

Adrian Dix says he’s keeping campaign clean

NDP leader Adrian Dix says he hasn’t changed his campaign strategy, which is to be positive.

NDP leader Adrian Dix insists he isn’t getting negative.

While polls indicate the Liberals have narrowed the gap with his party, Dix says he hasn’t changed his campaign strategy, which is to be positive.

“We’re focusing on issues that matter to people,” he said during a visit to Vernon Wednesday.

However, he says it’s not negative to point out the Liberals’ track record as government.

“They claim they are balancing the budget but they are running a major deficit,” he said. “They said they have come clean and are responsible, but there’s B.C. Rail, the HST and the multicultural outreach scandal. They never take responsibility.”

Flanked by Vernon-Monashee candidate Mark Olsen, Dix spent most of his visit focused on health care and overcrowding at Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

“Action needs to be taken,” he said, adding that while the Liberal government has proceeded with completing two shelled-in floors at the hospital, it will only result in 14 net new beds and that is not sufficient.

Beyond VJH, he says the NDP would also move ahead with additional home support and long-term care for seniors as a way of easing pressure at the hospital.

“We are going to build projects in Vernon.”

When asked by the media about how he would pay for capital improvements, Dix stated the funding can be found within existing budgets.

“It (top two floors of Polson Tower) is in the current capital plan so we will proceed with that,” he said. “We have a fully costed (election) platform.”

Dix also touched on plans to extend the training tax credit to ensure businesses can access labour.

“This announcement will allow for thousands of students to participate in co-op training,” he said.

In terms of the party’s chances in Vernon-Monashee May 14, Dix says he is confident based on the relationships the party has developed locally.

“This constituency represents a lot of what I have tried to do. We have represented people on the key issues of health care and the economy for years,” he said.

“I’ve worked with the people of Vernon to improve health care for years. We will continue to work on that through the election and beyond.”