Adrian Dix began his leadership of the B.C. NDP today (April 17) by declaring the party united following a three-month campaign to replace Carole James.
“We’ve got a task ahead of us, and we’ve got the team to do it,” Dix told a crowded room at the Vancouver Convention Centre after the vote results were announced.
Dix’s NDP caucus colleagues joined him on stage, after he thanked his competitors in the leadership race, and past leader James.“I think as a group we brought the party together, and I’m very proud of that,” Dix told reporters following the announcement of the results.
The leadership race began after very public divisions within the caucus, including the so-called Baker’s Dozen of MLAs that opposed James, and a scathing letter drafted by Jenny Kwan.
“We’ve got to move on, that’s what I’ve said from the beginning,” Dix said. “I’m looking forward, not looking back. They’re great MLAs...there’s no two groups in our caucus, there’s one group now.”
Dix added he will encourage “open debate” among his colleagues.
“We’re going to have an open, exciting discussion of where our party should go,” he said.
Dix said during the next election campaign, the party will target voters who didn’t cast a ballot the last time the province went to the polls.
“You’re going to see a positive campaign that’s going to get people who didn’t vote in the last election to vote,” he said.
The new leader criticized his Liberal opponents for the policies put forward during their recent leadership campaign.
“You compare the debate that I had with Mike Farnworth and Dana Larsen and John Horgan last week...When you compare that to the Liberal debate, which was almost a Seinfeld episode – a debate about nothing - I think we compare pretty favourably,” he said.
Mike Farnworth, who faced Dix on the final ballot, said the party is entering a "new chapter".
“Adrian’s the leader and I know we’re going to do really well, and I’m looking forward to working with him the way I’ve worked with him for the last six years, and fighting and winning that next election,” he told reporters.