Adrian Dix tells constituents that he feels pretty good about stepping down as leader of the B.C. NDP
Unburdened of the perils from holding on at the helm of his party, Adrian Dix came home to hero’s welcome in Vancouver-Kingsway.
In the evening hours after announcing today (September 18) that he will step down as B.C. NDP leader, Dix received a warm reception from his constituents at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, a block south of his district office on Joyce Street.
“I feel pretty good,” Dix told them in a half-lit room that cast shadows around. “I feel pretty good about that decision.”
With his sleeves rolled up, he said that “there are worse things in life than losing.”
His wife Renee Sarojini Saklikar sat at the front row of the packed room, gazing tenderly at the man who could have been premier of British Columbia.
Several members of the B.C. NDP caucus showed up, including those whose names have been mentioned as likely to replace Dix, who failed to lead New Democrats to victory in the May 14, 2013 election.
These are Port Coquitlam’s Mike Farnworth, John Horgan of Juan de Fuca, George Heyman of Vancouver-Fairview, and Vancouver-Point Grey’s David Eby.
In his speech, Dix said that his decision to give way to a new leader shows one thing.
“It’s not about me, and it’s not about our interests,” he said. “It’s not about me becoming premier. It’s about us succeeding.”
Dix also defended the campaign he ran that eventually led to what he described as a “heartbreaking” loss.
“We didn’t fail because we were too positive,” he said.
According to Dix, the NDP didn’t succeed because it wasn’t able to communicate effectively with the voters about its message.
“I could have done a better job,” Dix also said. “And I’ll reflect on that for a long, long time.”
The Vancouver-Kingsway MLA made a number of references to the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, which he described as an “extraordinary place”.
He related that the neighbourhood house hosts a weekly breakfast for homeless people who come from other areas outside Renfrew-Collingwood.
“This is the B.C. we want to be, and right here in Renfrew-Collingwood,” Dix said.
Dix also said that while the B.C. NDP didn’t win the election, there is much for the party to do.
“It is not the time to descend into bitterness or unhappiness,” Dix said. “It’s the time to reach higher. And I believe together we can reach higher.”
According to Dix, "People need the NDP."
Dix also left a promise: "I will not rest until there is an NDP government in British Columbia,"
Before he went to the podium, Dix was introduced by one of his key allies, Vancouver Kingsway MP Don Davies, as of the "finest" MLAs the province has had.
According to Davies, this is not the end for Dix.