If there was any doubt locally that we are gearing up for an election next spring, that was clearly dispelled recently after Adrian Dix’s whirlwind visit to Nanaimo on September 21st.
Our leader’s day started with a meeting with local media as you may have gathered from the local newspapers. This was followed by a tour of the Harmac Pacific pulp mill and a chance to see first hand how labour and management can work together to create a major local success story.
Then the party membership had a chance to meet over tea and coffee with the Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition. Here Adrian outlined priorities for the party over the next few months leading up to the provincial election and for the NDP should they form government. It was also an opportunity in turn for members to ask those tough questions around party policy and election readiness.
The eventful day was capped off with a very well attended fundraising dinner that evening at the Coast Bastion Hotel with over 165 interested citizens of all political stripes turning out to hear Adrian outline what he sees as the Party’s vision and priorities for the Province should he lead the next provincial government.
Speaking without notes, he reviewed his concerns about the need to engage the population in an open and honest dialogue in dealing with the complex problems that we face and to be more inclusive in that discussion–citing statistics showing that 55% of the electorate did not vote in the last Provincial election. Dix also expressed his desire to see a more positive campaign that focussed on the issues. He went on to outline what would be his government’s top three priorities in a first term:
- work to improve the levels of productivity in the province through improved education and job training opportunities
- work to reverse the increasing income disparity in the province
- work towards a more sustainable society and environment
Finally Adrian engaged the audience in a open forum with questions from the floor covering a wide range of concerns including ferry fares, taxation policy, education and health care, apprenticeship training and ship building, and First Nations treaties.
The formal part of the evening concluded with our MLA Leonard Krog thanking Adrian for his support and for coming to our community. Adrian clearly demonstrated that he is a knowledgable and effective communicator and open to dialogue with all people from all walks of life.