NDP party leader Adrian Dix gave a short address Tuesday at the Mayors in Caucus meeting at the Civic Centre. His talk began and ended on a note of optimism and also revealed a sense of humour.
Looking around the room with 70 or so municipal mayors flanking him on three sides, Dix smiled.
“They told me I would be speaking to a group UN style (today) so I’m going to be speaking slowly so it can be translated (into 50 languages.)”
The opener drew laughs from his audience. Dix also gave a light-hearted reference to his lifestyle changes since taking on his new political role.
“I don’t normally arrive in a big bus with my name on it,” he said.
Then it was down to business.
Dix pointed to 12 years of successes and lack of successes in the relationships between federal, provincial and municipal governments suggesting “more of the same is not good enough.” There is a need for a better working relationship between all levels of government and a better understanding by people and businesses of just how government works, he said.
Noting that the past few years has been dominated by the HST debate that Dix noted has hurt every business in the province he said the focus should be on communities. Time to get back to basics.
“…So I think a reasonable person would say it’s time for a change,” he said. “[We need] to get back to the idea that government is about getting things done… I think ideas are important … and where we’re going as a community is important. “
The opportunities are “enormous” to build a better province, he said.
“B.C. definitely needs a change for the better.”
If his NDP party wins the upcoming election, Dix proposes to “start fresh.”
That includes addressing old problems with new eyes.
“When you don’t have a compelling plan for mental health issues, that is felt in the community and on the street.”
We can’t afford the old way of doing things, Dix said.
“We are going to inherit a fiscal mess from the government if we win this election.”
Dix said his party would be looking at important decisions to help people address their own economic situations. He said training and post secondary education is key to growth. He noted his enduring support for tourism, economic development, agriculture industry, the film industry and other sectors.
On a more personal note, he urged all political party representatives in the provincial campaign race to show respect for one another.
“That’s why I have not responded to the personal attacks on me,” he said.
“The problem we have with B.C. politics at times is that we get divided in a way we shouldn’t.
“That’s why how we act during an election matters.”