REPORTING · 24th March 2011
Adrian Dix was in Kitimat making him the 3rd candidate for the NDP Leadership to visit Kitimat. He visited on Saturday, March 19th at the Kitimat Public Library.
Introducing himself as being elected in 2005, he has been the critic for Children and Family Development and the Critic for Health.
He said they were going to have their election in April and then they would probably be looking at 6 months before another election stating they had to speak to the public to win the election. Dix also expressed: “In four more years, we won’t recognize this province.”
Dix explained people would try to present the new Premier, Christy Clark, as something she is not. He stated she was Minister of Education when 120 schools closed in BC. They have now closed 212 schools in BC. He added most of these closures were in rural BC. He also said when she was Minister of Children and families; they made cuts to the spending for average children. He concluded, her one dramatic proposal in the campaign was to make cuts to public health care.
Dix stated his own record shows, as Critic of Children and families, was to try and fix some of the damage Clark did and succeeded. As Health Critic, they got results from getting insulin funding for children with type 2 diabetes. He has campaigned to keep schools open and stopped schools from closing. He has also campaigned on returning rural health care services to those communities.
“I am looking forward to running an election campaign against Christy Clark. I think we can win on substance, because on substance, I get results and the NDP will get results, especially in rural BC, and I think we’ll even beat her on style, just because,” said Dix.
He stated he believes in the principal of equality. Inequality is a measure of how society is doing. He said societies that are unequal have higher rates of mental illness, higher rates of illiteracy, higher rates of infant mortality, higher rates of criminality and drug abuse and lower life expectancy. He said it was how people measure happiness. Unequal societies were less successful societies and under the BC Liberals, BC had become more unequal.
He said there have been direct policies which affect a person’s ability to earn a decent living and direct policies that affect people who need support from the province. He said it comes from both international conditions and government policies.
Dix moved onto the economy and how the Liberals always state the NDP cannot get a hold of the economy again. He said the Liberals have the worst record of economic growth which is their measurement of success since the 1930s. He said it was because of deals with the corporate sector which have not been followed through on.
“They gave up appurtenance, which means tying logs to local mills. They gave that up, they gave up control on raw log exports and what do we get, we got dramatic loss of jobs. We got investment not in BC but in Washington and Idaho and Korea and Japan and China, by the very companies that benefited from access to our national resources. We need to stop that, we need to stop the train of raw exports,” said Dix.
He said there were 25 times more raw logs leaving BC now than under the NDP government in the 90’s. Dix however did not want to relive the 1990’s or say who was right or wrong. He wanted to campaign for the future, not the past. He added the Liberal government has had a lot of advantages and we are still the worst economy. He said all they have done is cut taxes for corporations.
He stated they needed to roll back some of the corporate tax cuts and restore the taxes on banks. This measure was to create jobs but cost BC 1600 jobs. The lost revenue was made up by increasing long term care fees and MSP premiums.
“If you are in a small town and you lose your local school, or you lose your primary health care, or your services slashed at your hospital; if you are a senior, it means you’re less likely to stay in that small town and keep spending your money there. If you are a young family, it’s less likely you’ll move to a small town and stay in the town if you don’t have an elementary school or your child who is grade 4 has to bus 2 and a half hours a day as they do in some small towns in British Columbia,” said Dix.
He suggested if they have tax cuts, they have to have deals which focus in BC and are not open ended like those in the banks. He added the NDP could manage the government, win on the issues of the next election because they have a better reputation and have better fiscal records than the government they inherited office from and the government they gave up power too.
Dix explained there was a study called Competitive Alternatives, which was a study to compare jurisdictions as to which are the best places to invest. He explained BC is the best place on the West Coast to invest. While many in the room claimed it was because BC is giving away the resources, Dix said the reason was because of the efficiency rate of the public health care system, which is a key item employers look at.
Dix was asked what he was running on, in the leadership race. He replied there were 5 items. 1: Investing in the community rather then cutting taxes. 2: Public health care is better then private health care. 3: Invest in education, and then invest more in education. 4: Carbon tax money should go into the environment and invest in a green economy. 5: People who give an honest days work should be paid for it.
Other discussions were on the legalization of Marijuana, relations within the party and the media.