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BC needs stronger economy, better shared: Dix

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix said if he succeeds at winning the leadership of the British Columbia NDP he will work to build a strong, more equitable economy.

“I want the job because I think the NDP needs a leader who can show leadership,” Dix said in a phone interview a few hours before he was scheduled to announce his entry to the race at Sir Guy Carleton Elementary School in Vancouver, a school he campaigned to keep open.

“We need someone with energy whose prepared to fight for change as opposition leader and to deliver change when they're premier,” he said.

The provincial economy grew faster with an NDP government in the 1990s than it has under the B.C. Liberals, said Dix, who was chief of staff to NDP Premier Glen Clark. While GDP grew at three percent a year in the '90s, it has grown at two percent a year under the Liberals, he said. “We have a government that has the worst economic record of any government since the great depression.”

Dix said he would eliminate the HST, raise the minimum wage, strengthen employment standards law and work to reduce child and family poverty. “Our people are less equal than they were before they took office,” he said. “Dramatically so.”

He would work with business to grow the economy while maintaining the NDP's relationship with unions and working people, he said.

Along with the economy and social justice, Dix said he would work to better manage natural resources and protect the environment. He said he would invest revenue from the carbon tax in expanding transit and building green infrastructure, while enforcing tough anti-pollution standards.

MLAs supporting Dix include Harry Bains from Surrey-Newton, Sue Hammell from Surrey-Green Timbers and Bruce Ralston from Surrey-Whalley. Dix said he believes the divisions in the NDP that led to Carole James resignation can be healed. “The prospect of any more years of Liberal government is an important driving force for unity,” he said.

Other Dix supporters included on a list of 28 provided by a campaign official were Vancouver-Kingsway MP Don Davies, Vancouver East MP Libby Davies and former Burnaby MP Svend Robinson.

After working for Clark, Dix became executive director of Canadian Parents for French in B.C.. He was first elected as an MLA in 2005 and re-elected in 2009.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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