Pharmaceutical lobbyist and former Mike Farnworth backer Marcella Munro says Adrian Dix must quit
A key organizer on NDP MLA Mike Farnworth's 2011 leadership campaign has publicly called for Adrian Dix's resignation as party leader.
Speaking on CKNW Radio's Sean Leslie Show, lobbyist Marcella Munro claimed that Dix "didn't carry a consistent message" in the last campaign. She called that a "very big contrast to Christy Clark".
"I don't think you could look at his performance and say that he did the job that a leader needs to do," Munro told Leslie. "There was the Kinder Morgan flip-flop. That came as a surprise to a lot of people when he made that decision."
She also criticized Dix for letting the B.C. Liberals define the economy as the main issue, rather than holding the governing party accountable for its record on health care and education.
"We didn't really take the fight to them on those issues," Munro said.
Leslie didn't ask any questions about her lobbying activities.
Dix has been a harsh and consistent critic of big pharmaceutical companies in his political career.
The provincial lobbyist registry lists Munro as a consultant lobbyist for 10 clients, including Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies.
Otherwise known as Rx&D, this association represents brand-name drug manufacturers, whom Dix has accused of having undue influence over Premier Christy Clark.
According to one lobbyist-registry page, Munro intends to arrange for a meeting "between an individual and a public office holder".
In her most recent filing, there were six Opposition members identified as targeted contacts: Dix, Farnworth, Jenny Kwan, Bruce Ralston, Doug Routley, and Joe Trasolini. Trasolini was defeated on May 14.
Her role as a lobbyist is: "To educate and inform members of the Official Opposition about Rx&D's analysis and research with regards to health policy and the role that pharmaceuticals play within the health care sector."
Meanwhile, Dix has also been a relentless defender of the Therapeutics Initiative, which is a UBC-based independent pharmacological-research group that provides unbiased, evidence-based reviews of prescription medications.
Clark eliminated provincial funding for this organization, whereas the B.C. NDP—with Dix as leader—promised to restore support in the last campaign.
Earlier this week, Dix told CBC Radio that party leaders are sometimes better in their second campaigns. He also cited similar outcomes in this year's election and the 2005 and 2009 elections.
In her interview with Leslie, Munro said that she thinks Dix needs to take responsibility for the party's defeat on May 14.
"I'm a little frustrated that he doesn't seem to want to," she said. "Most of the people in the party think he's going to do the right thing and step aside, but I guess my gut says I don't think so."
Munro also called upon B.C. NDP president Moe Sihota to quit.
She told Leslie that she wants to encourage Farnworth to consider running for party leader again, saying he's best-suited to attract support from people who have voted for the B.C. Liberals in the past.
"The only ones who want Adrian Dix to stay are my B.C. Liberal friends," she quipped.
Munro is with Earnscliffe Strategy Group, a downtown Vancouver lobbying company.
According to the B.C. lobbyist registry, her other clients are:
• Natural-gas giant BG International Inc., doing business as BG Canada.
• Target Canada, which is owned by the U.S. discount-retail giant Target.
• Croplife Canada, which is a trade association representing pesticide manufacturers and plant biotechnology companies.
• The Future of Howe Sound Society. It's a nonprofit conservation organization.
Recently, former NDP whip Gerard Janssen questioned the need for the B.C. NDP to change party leaders.
However, former party president Sav Dhaliwal, a Burnaby councillor, has said that party president Moe Sihota and Dix should both resign.
Dix has said that he will make an announcement on his future next week.